Comparative Advertising- How effective is it?

What do you do when you’re standing for an election in college and you want the students to vote for you? You generally tend to show yourself superior by comparing your qualities with that of your opponent. In the same way, to attract more customers, few brands also do comparative advertisement with their rival brands.

Comparative advertising is all about comparing and showing your brand’s superiority as compared to that of your rival brand’s. For instance, Pepsodent and Colgate, Pepsi and Coke, Samsung and Apple.

Pepsodent's comparative marketing against Colgate

Experts say that it is mostly done by the challenger brand, i.e. the brand which is in second position (like Pepsodent in toothpastes), because they are insecure about their market share, sales and competition with the leading brand. But the question arises, how effective comparative advertising is in order to attract more customers to buy it? Does it really affect the brand loyalty of the leading brand?

It is found out that the customers, loyal to the leading brand, are not really bothered about what advantages their rival brand possess. In fact, sometimes, the comparative advertising does wonders for the rival brand and promotes the rival brand for free. The same thing was witnessed when Pepsi introduced the Santa ad in order to put Coke down.

Sometimes, comparative advertisement gets boring for the customer. They might perceive it as the brand doesn’t have any content to advertise. Secondly, they are happy that their brand is projected in the ad. They don’t even know or care about who is the challenger brand.

Experts say that comparative advertising works only for certain categories and not for all. It’s effective when it is proven true with data or it is made interesting, be it with humor, like Samsung’s pool party ad against Apple. Samsung did it wonderfully without even taking Apple’s name. Even Apple’s loyal consumers say that they liked the ad.

In the end, it’s all about advertising. It’s effective when it’s interesting.


Author: Payal Rochwani



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