For this post, the focus is on: should firms use comparative advertising to drive their business?
Before continuing, we turn to Investopedia for a description of comparative advertising:
Through comparative advertising, a company’s product or service presents itself as superior when compared to a competitor’s. Such a campaign may involve printing a side-by-side comparison of the features of a company’s products next to those of its competitor. It may also feature comparison based on value or cost. Typically, the competing product is shown in a disparaging light. In addition, comparative advertising may contrast products or services directly or indirectly. And they may take either a positive or negative tone. However, negativity tends to be far more common. Comparisons may entail a single attribute or multiple attributes.
To learn more about advertising, take a look at these posts:
- Which Ads Consumers Find Most Annoying
- 2019 Advertising Trends
- U.S. Online Ads by Format and Platform
Do’s and Don’ts: Should Firms Use Comparative Advertising
Of late, comparative advertising has picked up steam in some product categories. According to experts, this approach may work or be detrimental.
In addressing this topic, Ad Age’s E. J. Schulz offers these observations:
“The fast-food industry is waging a chicken sandwich war. Bud Light and Coors Light are embroiled in ‘corngate.’ And Kind and Cliff keep trading shots in a snack-bar skirmish. They fight over whose ingredients are healthier. These are among the many brand battles raging in what has become an attack-ridden marketing environment. Comparative advertising is a tried-and-true tactic. As a result, more brands go at each other’s throats to stand out among the clutter. Tim Calkins, a Northwestern marketing professor, suggests marketers are part of a larger cultural shift to more aggressive behavior. And that includes the political arena. ‘Our country has become so polarized and so harsh.’ And that also ‘affects how brands market themselves.””
“Whether marketing attacks are effective relates to how they are handled. “Consumers say they don’t like comparative or negative ads. But nevertheless they do work,’ says Kit Yarrow. A psychologist who studies younger generations. ‘Generally, the percentage turned off by a comparative ad equals those positively influenced. However, there are so many caveats.”
To learn several do’s and don’ts from Schulz, click the image.