Continued from part 2....>>>>>>
Spontaneous trait transference as we saw it may or may not happen when brand A compares itself with Brand B but one thing that can for sure happen among the masses that see the ad is the phenomenon that ad researchers have termed as sponsor misidentification. This is the customer/viewer confusion as to who is actually sponsoring the ad is many a times a main by product of such comparative advertising.....
When the viewer belongs to the so called SEC A (the upper strata) may be the story becomes different and the job may be done…I mean the ad may be effective in the sense brand recall may happen but assuming that recall and attention is equal to ad effectiveness would be as stupid as assuming that since people have a smile when they see you they simply love you…But in any case direct comparative ads are far better and decent than the indirect comparative ones( remember the Pepsi vs Thumbs up humbug some time back)
Marketing is war and the war strategies are used without mercy here as well.. Defense and offense.. no matter what ..the end result is what matters… finding weakness in the leaders key strength is the main and most usable offensive principle in the marketing warfare.. as Pepsi would vouch and its war with Coca cola over the last so many years bears testimony. Coke had to claim that they are “The real thing” in face of such offense which later was abandoned for the lesser impressive and unexciting “Coke is it” and the rest is history .Coke is what? Or what is it? you may never get and answer….The blind tests that Pepsi did and since it was a bit sweeter than coke (9% to be precise) the tests favoured Pepsi and in the worst of marketing blunders coke changed its formula and bottle.. Now the Real thing had gone and Coke jumped into the new and improved bandwagon when its users wanted and loved and bought it for the OLD taste/sweet/formula/communication/brand whatever it stood for. The real thing that coke was had made the difference and it was lost in one stroke… this is what too much of comparison can do to anyone… even the giants….
It can some times be really dirty and cruel jokes.. Hyundai dealers in north were discredited to have come up with ads ridiculing their competitors who sold the Daewoo cars with tag lines “Car at your homes, company on the roads” when Daewoo ran into rough weather financially and went bankrupt. For Daewoo who introduced the concept of comparative advertising in India ( decent and side by side or A-B comparison) this below the belt attack came as a rude shock and for the people who saw it, it was free knowledge that even car majors can go bankrupt… if it is Daewoo today it can be Hyundai tomorrow….
To sum up let us derive some rules for those who are hell bend on comparing and get compared….
1 Comparative advertising should not be misleading and should not make improper use of the reputation and name of the competitor .
2 Comparative advertising should only compare things that can be compared.
'apples and oranges' are two different things…
3 Comparative advertising should objectively compare demonstrable results.
The comparison must impartially compare relevant, verifiable and representative characteristics of the goods and services, such as price, reliability, quantity and safety.
4 Comparative advertising should not confuse the consumer.
The consumer must not be made to think that the comparative advertising originates with the competitor (hope Horlicks and Complan is listening..)
5 Comparative advertising should not negatively reflect on the competitor.
The comparative advertising must not harm the competitor's good name or be disparaging with regard to his brands, activities or products( ahem!!!)
The consumer is a smart ass.. or that is what he believes at least. The last tirade and the war of statistics/ facts/figures and fiction between the two malt majors- Horlicks and Complan reminds me of the proverbial crabs… no one will allow another one to climb up…
And that is to say the least…. !!!
How do you compare American, British and Canadian English?
Americans: Spell words differently, but still call it "English".
Brits: Pronounce their words differently, but still call it "English".
Canadians: Spell like the Brits, pronounce like Americans.