Battle of the Ads

Posted By: Lauren Manecke

As television has become a part of our daily lives, we have gotten used to waiting five minutes in between shows to watch commercials. Within that five minutes, different ads are being displayed on the screen to try and grab the viewer’s attention. With so many new products being invented daily, companies need to make their product stand out amongst the others. They reach out to consumers through popular forms of communication, such as, social media and television.

A popular trend in commercials has been with the “big thing”: technology. As cell phone companies are continuously upgrading to make their phone better, they need to keep consumers interested.  They do this by comparing their phones to other brands and highlighting features that other companies do not have. Although it is good marketing to have certain features highlighted and show what they have to offer, much of the information they are giving is often opinion based. The clip below shows an Android commercial and it is comparing it to Apple’s Siri. It clearly shows an Apple product and why their Android product is “better.” Do you think this is marketing or more of a competition?


Competing with companies is popular, but so is competing when it comes to politics. Although that is part of the campaigning process, it gets exaggerated. People campaigning have put a lot of work into getting their name out there and making a difference. By putting a commercial out bashing other competitors, do you think it just makes the person doing it look worse or is it a good strategy to capitalize on their strengths and point out the other person’s weaknesses?

Does this cause controversy between companies? Do you think making other products “look bad” to make yours look better is a good or ethical strategy? Is it right to put your competitors down to make you stand out? When is the line crossed?


10 responses to “Battle of the Ads

  1. In my opinion, when you make an Ad like this, it it just making you look week. It is like your product isn’t good enough to stand by itself, so you have to compare it with others in order for it to look better. It also makes them look bad, because putting other companies down, to make you look good is something we were taught NOT to do since we were children. When I first saw this particular commercial, I thought to myself, why would they do this? When companies make commercials like this, it is like they are picking out the flaws of somebody else. I think that it is important to compare 2 products, but leave that to the costumers. Let them find the flaws, which will in turn, make them purchase your products. In the end, their commercial about how wonderful their product is will look so much better.

  2. I have to agree with Claudia here. Companies and politicians shouldn’t have to bash their opposition to make themselves look good. Their good work should speak for itself. The negative ads, especially during campaign seasons, get on my nerves. Politicians can find one quote from one speech, and it’s hard for me to believe anything because there is no context as to why the politician said what he or she did. I would much rather have politicians or companies supporting themselves. It’s much more real–and much less annoying.

  3. I agree with the comments already mentioned. I think that’s the low way to go about promoting a product, and that if it was really better, the way to go about proving it would be to highlight the qualities that make it so rather than comparing it to the flaws of another model. I agree with Maggie when she says that when politicians do it, it ruins all credibility that what they’re actually saying is true because you don’t know the context in which something was said or written. It seems like a way to trick people into thinking one thing over another, and I appreciate when companies and people are honest with their consumers much more than when they try to convince them of something that may or may not be true.

  4. I agree with both of the above comments. Many people can argue that this is just a part of the campaigning process, but I don’t think it makes you or a product look any better. Unfortunately, I’m sure there are a decent amount of people that believe these competing ads and political campaigns.
    I do not like this ads at all, but I think they are effective because certain people respond well to comparison ads. It’s unfortunate, and I wish people didn’t feel the need to bash other products and people.

  5. I agree with everything that has been said. It is absolutely a competition and it has been going on forever. It is a weak, unintelligent, and not at all creative advertising tactic. I feel like if you have resort to comparing your product to another company’s, it is the officially sign of “we don’t have a clue!” Personally, these types of ads never sway me into buying their product, I just think about how sad that company must be because they have no creative original ideas.

  6. I agree with a lot that has been said above. Companies and politicians shouldn’t have to bash the their opponent in order to make themselves look good. What they need to do is focus on the benefits of their product or for politicians, they should focus on themselves. What makes them different? What our their goals that they want to accomplish if elected? Things like that. Whenever I see/hear an ad that is bashing the other opponent, it gives me a bad vibe. It makes the person look weak because they have to attack the other person in order to make themselves look good.

  7. This is an interesting post. I would like to learn more about the legal implications behind these ads. Company names are trademarked. Does that mean companies need permission to feature other products? I agree when you say the assertions in commercials are opinion-based. Does that mean one Apple can sue Android for portraying Apple in a negative light with no basis in fact?

  8. You have all brought up great points. If your product is strong/good, you shouldn’t have to bring down others to make yours look better. It should stand out alone without all of that. Lauren, you make a good point about wondering if they need permission. In movies, logos are often covered up because they do not get permission to use their product, but how could they use it in a commercial when they aren’t promoting it but bashing it?

  9. This is a great topic, one that’s especially relevant during this election season and with the release of the new iPhones. I agree with what everybody has been saying about negative ads: they aren’t going to change anybody’s mind if you’re informed enough about what’s going on. However, if you have absolutely no idea about the product or politician and you don’t know who to vote for or what to buy, negative ads can potentially be more persuasive than positive ads, because we typically overemphasize the bad and deemphasize the good. I also think there’s a difference between intentionally shaming your competitor and simply pointing out the differences in your products in an objective way. I wish this is how commercials approached competing candidates and products, but the strong bias we’re faced with makes it hard to trust whatever these companies/candidates promote.

  10. This is a great topic. I agree that in most cases outwardly competing with another brand isn’t the best way to sell a product. However if the ad is done right they can be hugely successful. For example the Get a Mac campaign ( featuring the boring PC man and the Cool Mac man was incredibly popular and very successful. Most of the time it’s best to let a product stand on its own, but there are times where directly comparing products can lead to great ads.

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