Comparative Advertising - Meaning, Types & Example

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: September 06, 2021

What is Comparative Advertising?

Comparative Advertising is a form of advertising in which the companies promote their products by comparing it to the competitor’s products directly or indirectly thereby creating a favorable comparison in the mind of the customer using important parameters. At times the competitors’ brand is specifically named. If used wisely, it results in the companies getting some attention of the consumers towards their brands.

The advantages of this form of advertising are that the message and the brand are etched in the consumers mind. It creates a perception of trustworthy as the consumer believes that the company wants the consumer to be well informed about every detail.

However the disadvantages also abound and include increased rivalry (most of the times the competing firm responds with similar advertisements), high promotion costs and may also result in costly lawsuits.

Types of Comparative Advertising

There are 2 types of comparative advertising based on its execution method:

1. Direct

In this kind of comparative advertising, the companies use the name of competitors to directly compare the products positioning own product to be better on certain parameters. These advertisements are backed by proper facts, figures and research. 

2. Indirect

In this type, the companies do not use the direct name of the competitors but indirectly imply them. These may be supported by some research or it can be qualitative comparison. Sometimes it can be done after a major campaign launched by the competitor.

Comparative Advertising Example

One good example can be of automotive sector where competitors often bring advertisements where direct comparison is made on certain features like power, interiors, safety, efficiency etc. This may be based on public data available in marketing collaterals, brochures etc.

Another example is where smartphone companies advertise on certain features and claim their product to be the best performing compared to the other market leaders.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Comparative 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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