Defensive Advertising - Meaning & Definition

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: October 19, 2014

What is Defensive Advertising?

It is a type of advertising which is done for combating a potentially damaging or negative effect on your product by a competitor’s ads. For example- many a times, political campaigns involve negative advertisements about the rival candidates or his party and is paid for by the opposing candidate's political party. Defensive marketing strategies are used by market leaders to protect their market share, profitability, position of their product, and mind share against an new competitor. In absence of such tactics, customers may leave your brand and go to rival companies if they offer a better thus bringing down your market share. This type of advertising is usually done by market leaders whenever a new threat to market share appears.

For example- to protect its market share from other businesses, Starbucks started offering free Wi-Fi for customer convenience. Facebook, which is the market leader in social media, in defense of Google+ “circles”, updated its options for friends’ lists. This allowed users to have different options like visible to all, visible to some friends etc. in a more customized way.

Different defensive vary according to the nature of the competition’s attack. For a less costly product offered by the competitor, the defensive strategies would be more focused on price-sensitive customer. If there is a specific feature that attracts customers towards your product, a repositioning strategy may be used. So, the key is to finds out your competition’s strengths first, which customers are getting influenced by those and then accordingly respond to that challenge.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Defensive Advertising along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 2000 business concepts from 5 categories.

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