Gone are the days of following the theoretical advertising rules. A recent flurry of full-page ads with competitive claims, and TVCs in which brands take clever potshots at each other are keeping the spirit of marketing warfare alive. Here are a few big budget ad wars or rather the brand wars which breaks the ethical rules of advertising in India. With the help of a conditional sampled market research and laboratory tests the brands have directly hit their competitors and other brands irrespective of the product categories targeting products across categories. The brands Life Buoy and Dettol recently were spot in the limelight. The brand Life Buoy claims to work better than Dettol, where the parent company of Life Buoy – HUL claims to have the ad published in Public interest by offering them a choice. The ad was backed with a proof of sample test conducted in an independent laboratory.
The another high profile brands are Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Alto 800,a Maruti Suzuki product. The traditional Japanese and Korean rivalry became the headlines when Hyundai Motor went ballistic on the basis of market research and comparative research with its marketing campaign ‘Trendsetter V/s Follower’ on claims of a much-superior small car EON over the newly launched Alto 800. To our surprise Samsung and Micromax also joined the league of brand wars. The last few words spoken in the Samsung ads are the first words in the Micromax ads. The plot, theme, script and appearance of the ads have been crafted to look similar to the Samsung ads, so much so that at first glance, one assumes it is a sequel to the Samsung campaign.
The creative agency, on the basis of report analysis given by the research agency churn out the campaigns which work well as a controversy gaining attention and also free publicity for the brands. The creative agency cleverly words the copy that makes it evident that the advertised brand is pointing out at the competitive brand and projecting it as an inferior choice for consumption when compared with the advertised brand. Media planning agencies also contribute to the brand wars. Often you must have seen the late hour slots advertise a similar category brands one after the other. Media planning agencies schedule the late hour slots where audiences are exposed to all the competitors of same category. The latest example is deals business. The brands like Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart etc. are aired one after the other leaving a plethora of options for the audiences or rather confuse them.