Some Creative Advertisement Wars

The world of marketing is brutally competitive; each brand fighting for mind share of customers. Advertisements can strengthen a product’s existence in the market. There is so much creativity in advertising that it can change the scene for a product in shortest no time.   While creative advertisement might be entertaining, comparative advertisement, one of the aggressive forms of marketing, is a whole new ball game altogether. But are creative ads more effective in inspiring people to buy products? Yes they are.  They certainly outshine ads that simply describe catalogue product attributes or benefits. Numerous empirical experiments have found that creative messages get more attention and lead to positive attitudes about the products being marketed, but there is not sure short evidence that shows how those messages influence purchase behavior. Each individual has his/her unique perception, likes and dislikes. At the same time, some creative campaigns have failed miserably because customers found them too bitchy.

We come across advertisement wars regularly, where brands take on one another. Some brands openly mock the rival brand through print, digital or broadcast media. We have witnessed Apple’s campaign vs. Microsoft’s, TOI’s vs The Hindu’s, Pepsi vs Coke, FedEx vs DHL and many more such. It is marketing, morals and ethics are for book reference, big or small brands are all game in mudslinging at each other and they don’t shy away from getting dirty in this game of ad wars. Such advertisements where companies make direct references to the competition are interesting for the rest of the world to watch. Here are some of the brilliant virtual ads from around the world:

Kingfisher and Jet Airways

Kingfisher and Jet Airways nagged at each other with these billboard advertisements.In its panic, Jet Airways invested Rs. 10 crore in ad campaign to publicize its rebranding through its “We have changed” ad caadvtwar1mpaign. Jet insisted that they have grown consumer friendly and more services are on offer. But, Kingfisher through “Equus Advertising” resorted to the ways of Ambush marketing and hijacked the campaign from Jet airways. The Jet hoarding at Cadbury Junction, near Jet CEO Naresh Goyal’s residence in Mumbai, was superseded by a Kingfisher billboard saying “We made them Change”.

Though today the scene has changed. Jet Airways has booked profits in the fiscal year 2016, while Kingfisher Airlines is in crisis.

Dove vs Pantene:

This is an ad war of 2010. The story started on July 23, when Mumbai woke up tadvtwar2o hoardings that screamed: ‘A Mystery Shampoo!! 80% women say is better than anything else’. P&G, it was later found, was planning to unveil the new Pantene on August 1. When the suits at HUL found out, they saw an opportunity to score a point. They ambushed P&G. On July 28, even as the P&G hoardings stood tall on its skyline, Mumbai woke up to another hoarding that was upfront, and suggestive of its source of inspiration. It said: ‘There is no mystery. Dove is the No.1 shampoo’. Dove is one of the four brands in HUL’s shampoo portfolio. The HUL national campaign took just one day to go from brief to execution, and was handled by Ogilvy & Mather India. This was the quickest advertising turnaround in the company’s history.

Apple vs Samsung:

Two tech giants Apple and Samsung are always seen warring; we have seen their ad wars for last couple of years, we have seen these two rival brands competing foradvtwar3 supremacy in the smartphone market. In 2011, Samsung began its ad campaign to promote their then new smartphone, Galaxy S II. In the ad, they showed Apple fans waiting in line for the next iPhone release were ironically checking out the Samsung Galaxy S II of passers-by. The ad not only mocked iPhone users with lines like “Why don’t you guys just get 4G phones?” but also took the opportunity to feature their larger screens.

McDonald vs Burger King:

In a tug of war between McDonald and Burger King, McDonald’s came out with a print ad, backed up by a video, for which it erected a huge roadside sign giving directions to a Burger King Drive 258km away, next to a sign reading ‘McDonadvtwar4ald’s Drive 5km’.  In a quick retort, Burger King created a new ending for the McDonald’s video, which shows a French couple driving from the sign to the nearby McDonald’s Drive. They order coffee to sustain themselves on their 258km journey to the Burger King Drive, where as they tuck into their Whoppers the man says to the woman: “It wasn’t that far at all.” The tagline on the ad reads: “Thank you McDonald’s for being everywhere”.

Uber vs Ola:

In India the taxi war between Ola and Uber is benefiting the customers. Uber banks itself as a premium service where the useradvtwar5 is paying an affordable price for the experience of travelling in luxury cars, whereas Ola always focused on getting more cars, taxis, and auto-rickshaws on their platform and more riders to use their services. But the lines are increasingly getting blurred with the launch of Ola’s business class service called Ola Prime. In May 2015 both taxi aggregators launched their ride sharing verticals called Ola Share and uberPOOL. With these, users can now share cab rides with others heading to the same destination or in the same direction. It took Ola four years to come out with its nationwide (multi-channel) campaign titled ‘Chalo Niklo’ by Happy Creative Services, which aimed to position Ola as the go-to transport platform of choice for immediate and spontaneous city travel needs, across cabs, autos and taxis. Both Uber and Ola have used social media for their campaigns. While they keep fighting for cutting into each other’s market, while customers are enjoying the rides!

Ford vs General Motors:

The advertising wars between Ford and General Motors started in the first decade of the 20th century and are still going strong more than a century later. The two brands have ridiculed one another over price, features, safadvtwar6ety, looks, financing and luxury features. Each advertisement seems to say how their brand is more reliable, harder working, more powerful, and ultimately more American. This rivalry has involved each brand’s fan base, as t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other memorabilia bashing and praising each brand have become extremely popular. Even today, this rivalry continues on and has expanded to social media and the use of YouTube. In fact, GM recently went on the attack releasing a series of commercials featuring demonstrated ability of GM trucks to fare better than Ford trucks in car accidents!

Britania vs Patanjali:


Today, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has its presence everywhere and is sweeping away everything in its path. From local stores to Amazon,Patanjali Products have a strong presence on all shelves. The product quality is best in breed, the prices competitive and the distribution chain is probably the first that is surpassing even the Cola majors. FMCG majors are unable to match Patanjali strategies. Britannia is so scared by Patanjali biscuits that they’ve launched their own Baba Ramdev, guess who it is Farhan Akhtar. Britannia NutriChoice has rolled out an ad film featuring Bollywood actor-director Farhan Akhtar conceptualized by Lowe Lintas, the film looks to showcase NutriChoice as the healthy offering among biscuits. This just shows strength of Baba Ramdev as brand ambassador, that Britannia had to hire the versatile and suave Farhan Akhtar – their Farhandev.



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Over the course of my life, I have done all possible jobs that one can think of – front desk assistant, telephone operator, clerical work, accounts assistant, inventory officer, sales woman, sales manager, tutor, lecturer, professor, director...etc. The range of job designations and experience of working in diverse roles has given me strength to think, help people, increase customer satisfaction, promote products, and off course build brands. When I look back at my career, in some jobs I excelled, in some I continued with odds. But the fact is that the diversity in my career has strengthened me as a person and definitely enhanced my skills. Every job taught me something or the other. I love meeting people, reading, travelling, listening to music, cooking, gardening, teaching, writing. Blogging has been a recent addition and am loving it. It has become my biggest hobby. Blogging has changed my life. My blog is wide-ranging manifestation of the way I think. I am a creative individual; I write because I have the urge to translate expressions of life. Over the years I studied and added some degrees as well. I have a PhD in Marketing Management from University of Pune, a post doctoral D.Litt (Doctor of letters) from Mumbai University in strategic management. I am a Professor of Management Studies with 16 years of teaching experience and have over 20 years industry experience. My core teaching areas are Marketing Strategy and General Management. As a teacher, I have always maintained the academic rigor in my classroom, I have always believed and practiced academic engagement while lecturing, I believe in experiential teaching-learning. I truly believe that education is interdisciplinary; therefore I have successfully guided 15 students for their PhD degree across various sectors in business management which includes a broad base of research coursework coupled with an area of specialization. I write on various management topics, research, news and higher education for students. And, the general section of articles on my blog relate to my interests in life. Happy reading to you all!