What is Comparative Advertising? [+ Examples]

Promoting is the method of making messages that increase consciousness of your model.

These messages can have numerous functions like attracting potential prospects, selling upcoming gross sales, and introducing new merchandise to market. Most commercials focus on one enterprise, however a novel sort, known as comparative promoting, facilities round two.

When accomplished proper, comparative advertisements can efficiently persuade customers to do enterprise with one model over one other. However, when accomplished unsuitable, corporations could discover themselves in the course of a lawsuit. Given this, utilizing comparative promoting requires care and a spotlight.

On this submit, we’ll clarify what comparative promoting is, give examples from real-life companies, clarify the legality of utilizing the technique, and current professionals and cons that you should use to make the very best resolution for your enterprise.

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These advertisements can instantly or not directly point out a competitor, however customers can sometimes deduce who the opposite enterprise is thru product options and call-outs. Comparative advertisements additionally give prospects a direct level of comparability between two corporations, as they’ll view merchandise and assess options suddenly, reasonably than needing to hunt out data from a number of sources.

Though they might function two companies, it is very important notice that one firm creates the advert for his or her profit, so its tone is swayed of their favor. That being mentioned, companies aren’t allowed to make false claims about their rivals, so customers are introduced with factual data.

There is no such thing as a set template for comparative commercials; they are often digital or print, movies or photographs, humorous or severe. Many companies reap the benefits of Twenty first-century viral tradition and share advertisements on social media platforms and capitalize on the site visitors from likes, retweets, follows, and shares.

Comparative Promoting Examples

Beneath we’ll go over some real-life examples of comparative promoting that can assist you perceive the observe.


Popeyes is an American fast-food chain that serves fried hen. Chick-fil-A is their direct trade competitor, well-known for being closed on Sundays.

Popeyes capitalized on this and created a comparative commercial that emphasised that their restaurant is open on Sundays, prepared and in a position to serve customers on daily basis of the week, particularly whereas Chick-fil-A takes a time off. The video is proven beneath.


Verizon, a mobile supplier, used the identical actor because the face of their commercials for 9 years. Dash, an trade competitor, poached the actor in 2016 and used his swap to their service to take a novel method to comparative promoting.

Within the video beneath, Dash basically says, if a long-time, loyal Verizon actor can swap to Dash, why can’t you alter as properly? The enterprise positions itself as a certified competitor by saying that their cellular phone service has a 1% distinction in protection than Verizon.


Cocoon by Sealy

Casper is a well known mattress model that has managed to garner vital hype and recognizability for its merchandise.

Cocoon by Sealy, a direct competitor, makes use of comparative promoting in search engine end result pages (SERPs) to focus on Casper’s supposed viewers. The corporate positioned a paid advert in a SERP for the time period Casper mattress (proven beneath), with the headline “Don’t Purchase the Hype, Store Cocoon & Save A whole lot.”

Cocoon claims that its competitor is simply a competitor as a result of individuals purchase for the name-brand hype. If a curious shopper clicks on the advert, they study that Cocoon affords mattresses which are worthwhile as a result of they’re conducive to peaceable sleep and are reasonably priced (displayed within the picture beneath).

side by side image of woman sitting on cocoon by sealy mattress and empty casper mattress

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Adidas is a well known sports activities attire model that’s solely outshined by Nike. Adidas created a comparative video (proven beneath) that options an individual operating within the desert carrying Nike footwear.

Runners know out of doors terrains are difficult to run in. Nonetheless, essentially the most spectacular factor within the video is that the cameraman carrying a 50-pound digicam can sustain with the runner as a result of he’s carrying Adidas footwear.



Kroger is a grocery retailer chain that took out a full-page comparative commercial in opposition to a neighborhood competitor (Publix) in a Tennessee newspaper.

The commercial, proven within the picture beneath, options two lengthy receipts from each shops which are the identical size, however prices had been cheaper, and financial savings had been increased at Kroger. The model basically says that, even if you happen to purchase the identical merchandise, Kroger affords decrease costs, financial savings, and extra perks that buyers can’t discover at Publix.

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Bounty is a paper towel model that created a comparative advert to show the advantages of utilizing their paper towels versus the main generic model. Whereas they don’t explicitly identify a competitor, they make a dig at whoever it could be by calling them the “abnormal model” as a result of they’ll’t clear up messes in addition to Bounty can.

Primarily, they’re saying Bounty is premium, and some other possibility is simply common.

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Whereas all of those companies used comparative promoting, it’s important to grasp that it’s solely that — comparative. Every firm believes it’s the best choice, however they are saying that by way of comparability, not false or deceptive claims.

Nevertheless, provided that the road could be imprecise, many nations have legal guidelines that dictate how comparative advertisements can and might’t be used.

Comparative Promoting Regulation

Beneath, we’ll talk about the comparative promoting legal guidelines from three completely different nations and the specific language they use to elucidate what advertisers are allowed to do.

United States Comparative Promoting Regulation

The U.S.’s Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) protects customers from being deceived, defrauded, and manipulated by companies. It additionally protects corporations from unfair practices and actions of rivals.

The FTC ruled on comparative advertising and mentioned, “Comparative promoting, when truthful and nondeceptive, is a supply of vital data to customers and assists them in making rational buy choices. Comparative promoting encourages product enchancment and innovation, and might result in decrease costs within the market.”

Briefly, the FTC helps comparative promoting, because it advantages customers by giving a well-rounded view of product choices. What they don’t tolerate is promoting that disparages rivals and is misleading as a way to get customers to do enterprise with one firm over one other. Firms can use the FTC ruling to file claims in the event that they really feel as if they’re being discredited.

Australia Comparative Promoting Regulation

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says that “Companies could use comparative promoting to instantly promote the prevalence of their merchandise over one other.” Like U.S. legislation, companies should comply with basic promoting best-practices of not being misleading or deceptive in an try and entice customers to do enterprise with them.

Hong Kong Comparative Promoting Regulation

Hong Kong has no particular laws supposed to restrict comparative promoting. Nonetheless, the Commerce Descriptions Ordinance prohibits false trade descriptions and deceptive or incomplete data commercials, and the Affiliation of Accredited Promoting Businesses of Hong Kong has the authority to investigate situations of violation.

All in all, no matter your location, it’s vital to grasp the legal guidelines and rules of comparative commercials, so that you don’t end up in the course of a lawsuit.

Comparative Promoting Execs and Cons

The fact of selecting to make use of comparative promoting is as much as your particular person enterprise wants.

Suppose you will have an trade competitor that owns a lot of the market share. In that case, comparative promoting could be useful as you’re letting your goal market know that there are different choices on the market. When you’re a brand new enterprise, comparative promoting also can assist generate consciousness round the truth that you exist.

Nevertheless, if you happen to’re unable to help your claims of superiority and your commercials appear extra berating than comparative, you possibly can stand to lose enterprise. General, as talked about above, the choice to make use of comparative promoting is determined by your objectives.

We’ve compiled an inventory of comparative promoting professionals and cons that may assist you make a complete resolution about whether or not it is best to decide to make use of the technique.



Express product emphasis.

Comparative promoting particularly focuses on a single product or function that makes you higher than a competitor, which is useful promoting to your merchandise basically.

Even if you happen to don’t sway your viewers, they’re nonetheless changing into conscious of its direct specs, advantages, and options.

You may face authorized motion.

As talked about above, many nations have legal guidelines defending customers and different companies from comparative advertisements.

When you don’t comply with authorized necessities, you might face authorized motion out of your rivals that requires vital authorized charges. When you’re a giant identify model, publications will possible report on it, which may additionally negatively influence your popularity.

Increase consciousness.

Comparative advertising and marketing might help you increase consciousness for your enterprise, particularly if you happen to’re new to the trade or a small enterprise standing as much as a competitor.

Mentioning their identify provides you publicity to their market share and a completely new viewers which may be able to make the swap.

Can create model identify confusion.

Simply as comparative advertisements can generate model consciousness, they’ll additionally spur confusion.

Mentions of a number of rivals in the identical advert can lead customers to change into confused about which enterprise affords the options they like or which firm proved to be the best choice to fulfill their wants.

Achieve new followers and appeal to new purchasers.

Comparative promoting might help you acquire new followers and appeal to new purchasers, primarily when these advertisements are broadly distributed and positioned in high-volume shopper site visitors areas.

For instance, many companies in the US create humorous comparative commercials to share in the course of the Tremendous Bowl as a result of they know the occasion has vital viewership.

It’s possible you’ll lose integrity and look unhealthy to your viewers.

Suppose your commercials don’t align along with your nations comparative promoting guidelines and are flat-out disparaging of your rivals. In that case, you might look unhealthy to your target market, which is the other impact you’re making an attempt to have.

As well as, even if you happen to comply with the legal guidelines, some individuals simply don’t admire advertisements that pit two corporations in opposition to one another. It’s finest to first perceive your target market earlier than electing to create and share comparative commercials.

Inform customers about what’s vital.

As comparative advertisements concentrate on a selected function or expertise that comes with a services or products, you are informing customers concerning the elements they need to remember when making buying choices.

Primarily, you’re displaying them that they need to contemplate extra than simply the model identify of the product they’re fascinated about.


Comparative Promoting Can Assist Your Enterprise Develop

Must you decide to make use of it as a part of your enterprise’ advertising and marketing technique, be conscious of comparative promoting legal guidelines in your nation, be sure that you’re offering profit to the patron, and that you just’re not merely disparaging your competitor and claiming superiority.

If accomplished efficiently, you possibly can stand to boost vital model consciousness, drive income, and even seize a better portion of your trade market share and place your self as an trade chief.

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