Why are some brands determined to stay in high school when it comes to advertising?
You know the ads I mean, the our brand is better than your brand ad, the our brand of toxic cola flavored sugar drink is better than their brand of toxic cola flavored sugar drink.
Yes, creative genius is sometimes hard to come by. But these brands almost always have million dollar marketing budgets and massive marketing teams, all of whom are meant to be the best in the business. Yet the best they can do is to behave like the two meanest girls in school desperately trying to one up each other. It seems like sometimes these multi billion dollar companies just get too lazy to produce a halfway decent ad.
In 2011 Samsung produced an ad campaign that showed jealous apple customers waiting in line as Samsung owners walked past with their new 4G Phones. Who remembers way back when Pepsi created an ad that showed a kid buying two Cokes to use as a step so he could reach the Pepsi button on the vending machine. Let's not forget the multiple times Nurofen and Advil have both campaigned against Panadol, outright naming the brand in their ads.
What makes no sense about this tactic is that it creates an immediate association in customers minds between advertising brand and their biggest competitors. Imagine a customer is completely loyal to your competitor. Creating an association between the two brands in that customers brain then essentially means that every time that person sees your product or ad they will immediately seek out the other brand. The best example for myself is Coke and Pepsi. For whatever reason I prefer Coke. The association between the two brands means that when I see a Pepsi ad I actually feel like drinking Coke. The link the two brands have created for themselves causes one ad to work for the other brand and vice versa. This is only compounded when loyal customers take it upon themselves to go to bat for your competitors company. Like this Halloween ad Pepsi put together.
The first image was an ad made by Pepsi, the second was a made by a fan of Coke. As a company Coke had no need to retaliate, their fan base was doing it for them.
At the end of the day these ads serve no real purpose. They lend the company no credibility and tell customers nothing about the product. What they do is show that the marketing team is feeling kind of lazy.