Product Comparison Advertising

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 2333

Definition: Product Comparison Advertising

Also known as comparative advertising, it is the technique of naming competitors in an ad and comparing the competing brands on specific attributes. It could include a direct or indirect reference and may also have the competitor’s trademark as well.

Comparison Advertising is often used for launching new brands, since it allows the new entrant to position itself directly against a well-established competitor. The new brand can differentiate itself from the current products and promote its distinctive abilities. It also allows the new brand to figure in the evoked or consideration set.

For example, the launching commercial for Reckitt Benckiser’s Dettol Kitchen cleaning gel showed HUL’s Vim dishwash liquid clearly. It further claimed that Dettol kitchen gel kills more germs and provides better protection as proven by lab results. HUL fought back with an ad questioning the use of ‘a harsh antiseptic to clean your child’s tiffin’.

This practice is also followed by brands with smaller market share where they compare themselves with the established market leader with the hope of creating an association and tapping into the leader’s market. But market leaders often hesitate to use comparison ads as there’s little to be gained by engaging in direct comparison advertising.

However, Pepsi and Coke have taken an exception to this rule and often engage in direct battle! One of their most well- known campaigns is the Halloween ad.

Since 2006, Apple has been running its comparative ‘Get a Mac’ campaign that illustrates the problems with Microsoft’s Windows OS and promotes its Mac PCs.



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