The world of advertising is fiercely competitive. Brands compete against each other for the highest sales, most popular advertisements and to be the most loved brand overall. Some brands largely ignore their competition and just focus on their own agenda. However, other brands take a slightly more aggressive approach with their advertising. This is how ad wars begin.
Rather than be coy about their competition, these brands use humour and satire to fully call out their competition. These huge brands don’t shy away from getting dirty to outdo their rivals, and from a consumer’s point of view, these are some of the best ads to watch. Ad wars are highly entertaining, they start tons of conversation about the brands online and they create an opportunity for the brand being called out to respond in a creative way. Brands directly calling out their competition is not a new marketing method, yet it seems just as effective now as ever. As social media and digital marketing continue to quickly evolve, ad wars are right there growing alongside technology to make even bigger and better ads.
Here are 5 advertising wars going on right now:
1. EBay vs. Amazon
EBay’s newest ad is starting off their new campaign ‘Fill Your Cart With Color.’ Unlike some other ad wars, Ebay doesn’t actually say or show Amazon’s logo, however, the beginning of the ad is meant to represent one of Amazon’s shipping facilities. With the boring, brown boxes rolling through a bland facility, EBay sharply contrasts the situation by bringing bright, bold colours into their operation. The ad not only snubs Amazon, but shows EBay delivering packages that represent their customers’ passions and individuality. This is the first of an entire campaign that will showcase EBay as a more colourful competitor next to the “beige” Amazon.
2. IKEA vs. Balenciaga
When Balenciaga released their new $2,000 tote bag the internet was quick to react. This was of course because the Balenciaga bag has a strong resemblance to the well-known IKEA bag, known as the FRAKTA. IKEA was quick to react with a print ad, “how to spot an original FRAKTA bag,’ which instantly went viral. Since then, IKEA has been working on a new ad that revolves around the FRAKTA. “The Blue Bag” celebrates the various uses for the FRAKTA around the world. Calling the FRAKTA ‘the hardest working bag in the world,’ is no understatement in this commercial. The low-key snub to Balenciaga is when the voiceover talks about how the FRAKTA is for everyone, no matter how much money you have. “That design, function, and quality shouldn’t be just for a few,” is the punchline, and obviously, the $2,000 Balenciaga bag isn’t for many.
3. Apple vs. Android
Apple is perhaps one of the leaders in ad wars. From 2006 to 2009 they ran their now famous “Get A Mac” campaign, which was a long series of ads explaining why Macs are superior to PCs. Since then, Apple has continued to create ads that directly poke fun at their competition. At the beginning of May, they released their newest string of ads from their ‘Life is easier on an iPhone’ campaign. The three ads quickly point out why an iPhone is better than Android and they are classic Apple: visually appealing, short and effective. They tackle the security, contacts and smoothness of an iPhone all ending in the link “apple.com/switch.” And yes, when you go to the link the site lays out exactly why the iPhone is superior and how you can make the switch from an Android.
4. Coke vs. Pepsi
The rivalry between Coke and Pepsi is legendary. For decades this ad war has raged on with no signs of slowing down. Anyone who has been following this competition was probably on the edge of their seats waiting for Coke’s reply after Pepsi’s massive fail this past April. However, Coke didn’t take the opportunity to deliberately bash Pepsi, as Pepsi did that all by themselves. Two months before Pepsi had released their ad, Coke had just re-released their 2014 Super Bowl ad, ‘Together is Beautiful,’ which highlights inclusivity and a culturally-diverse America. This proved to be great timing as the two were heavily compared. More so, Coke’s newest summer ad, ‘Pool Boy’ again has undertones of inclusivity and equality, in a light-hearted way. Pepsi, your move.
5. Audi vs. BMW
Audi and BMW have consistently gone back and forth taking jabs at each other through their ads. Whether through billboards or commercials, these car companies are not afraid of boldly calling out each other by name in their ads. In Audi’s latest ads they take a stab at the BMW X3 by comparing its performance to the Audi Q5. This isn’t the first time Audi has taken shots at the BMW X3 while promoting the Audi Q5, as the last commercial focused on calling BMW drivers ‘conformists.’ This ad focuses on the Q5 literally leaving the X3 behind because it’s superior in performance, and specifically, speed. This ad is short and sweet, but quickly gets to the point that one car is better than the other.
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