By Spencer Lane, Daniel Sussman, Rashad Campbell, and Thomas Sheppard
In today’s society consumers are overloaded with hundreds of advertisements each day, many of which go unnoticed. In an attempt to stand out and catch consumer’s attention, many companies make it a point to generate combative advertisements that directly compare their products to a similar product made by a competitor. In doing so, advertisers attempt to portray their product as superior and more valuable in order to shift consumers preferences towards their brand.
Historically, combative advertising truly became apparent with the famous rivalry between Coca-Coal and Pepsi. Respectively, introduced in 1886 and 1903, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi have attempted to dominate the soft drink industry, and a legendary rivalry has developed in the process. To no surprise, when it comes to Coke vs. Pepsi nearly everyone has a preference or opinion about which one is better. Ironically, despite these strong preferences the flavor difference between the two is subtle at most, and it is evident that these companies rely on image rather than taste to differentiate themselves. Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi understand that consumer preference isn’t based strictly on taste, therefore each of them have made marketing and advertising an integral part of their business.
The fact that people can have such strong feelings between two similar products proves how important and effective advertising is. Both brands understand the competitive nature of the industry and that they are competing for the same consumers. Therefore, Pepsi in particular relies on combative advertising to portray their brand as better than the other and shift consumer’s preferences toward their brand.