Marketing field can be really competitive, and these days in order to make marketing even more creative, companies are coming up with comparative strategies where the companies are openly mocking their rival brand. Here are some of these ad wars in India, and to make it more interesting, few of these did actually make direct reference to their competition.
1) Reckitt Benckiser Vs HUL
This ad war began after FMGC giant HUL (Lifebuoy) was attacked by Dettol in a TV ad campaign where they directly compared their kitchen cleaning product with HUL’s Vim. HUL appealed to the Calcutta High Court, saying the ads were untrue, but the appeal was denied.
HUL then took revenge by posting ads on the front page of national dailies claiming Lifebuoy was better than Dettol antiseptic, saying that the ads were “issued in public interest”.
2) The Times of India Vs The Hindu
Time of India entered Chennai, which is a territory of The Hindu with the ad campaign which states “Wake up to the Times of India”. In an attempt to hit back hard, The Hindu came up with an ad campaign which said “Stay Ahead of the Times” by reading news that was relevant and not some page 3 gossip. The ad war continued in both print media and TV commercials. The funny part is that The Hindu actually posted a matrimony ad in TOI’s Mumbai Mirror that read this:
3) Hindustan Unilever Vs P&G
In 2010, HUL’s commercial for Rin had a packet of Tide Naturals (a product of P&G) clearly visible, with the ad claiming “Tide se kahin behtar safedi de Rin”.
Another of HUL’s ad for Clinic All Clear tried to take a dig at P&G’s Head and Shoulders where actress Bipash Basu is looking for someone with zero dandruff. One of the girls with dandruff mentions that she uses Head and shoulders which is beeped out in the ad.
4) Complan Vs Horlicks
In 2008, GSK’s Horlicks came up with an ad campaign which showed Horlicks to be a better and cheaper option than Complan. Complan packs were literally shown in the ad and were called “cheap”.
5) Dairy Milk Vs Munch
In 2009, Nestle’s Munch came up with an ad campaign which spoofed Cadbury with a tag line “khao bina tareekh dekhe” which was a response to Dairy Milk’s ad which said “Meetha hai khana aaj pehli tareekh hai”.
6) Ford India ‘Swap the drive’ campaign
In 2009, Ford came up with an ad campaign that directly challenged a lot of companies. In the ad, Ford engaged with the owners of cars of nine different brands who were given an opportunity to swap their cars with Ford for a week. The ad then shows their response, most of them comparing Ford with their own cars, directly taking names of the brands.
7) Jet Airways Vs Kingfisher Airlines
Back in those days when Kingfisher was having a good time, Kingfisher was getting much better marketing shares than Jet Airways and in response to this Jet Airways came up with a new ad campaign with the tag line “We’ve changed” which suggests that they have improved their services. Kingfisher took a dig by placing a billboard right above Jet Airway’s billboard saying “We made them change”. The ad war didn’t end there because for every ad campaign that Jet Airways came up with later on, Kingfisher had a reply.
8) Snapdeal vs Flipkart
In 2015, during the Big Billion Day conducted by Flipkart, Snapdeal took a dig at its ad campaign by posting an ad just next to the Flipkart ad on a national daily. As of now, Snapdeal is having a hard time.
Such creativity makes ads much more fun, isn’t it?