What is comparative advertising

What is comparative advertising and should you use it?

What is Comparative Advertising?

Comparative advertising is an advertising technique. Where the advertiser makes a claim about their product and compares it to a competitor’s product. This distinction provides a unique selling proposition and also allows customers to compare your brand to your competitors.

Comparative Advertising

Comparative advertising must meet certain requirements, including the following:

  1. The ad must clearly state that it is a comparison between products. It should also highlight the name of the competitor against which is being compared.
  2. The comparison must be between two similar products to make a relevant and accurate comparison. For example, one can compare how much sugar there is in Pepsi and Coca-Cola, but not Pepsi and orange juice.
  3. The advertiser should not assume there are other similar products on the market. If the competition uses comparative advertising, you can too!
  4. The comparison must be fact-based and not contain false or misleading information.

Comparative Advertising Rules


The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which regulates commercial advertising in the US, requires all comparative advertising to be accurate and based on reliable evidence.

For example, it would be illegal to advertise that Product A has 30% more Vitamin C than Product B. If the evidence is inaccurate.

The FTC has also ruled that it must not be unfair or deceptive.

It’s important to note that comparative advertising is not allowed if it exaggerates the qualities of the product being advertised.

It also states that advertisers cannot mislead consumers by omitting essential information. Such as fine print, clarifying that certain aspects are averages or percents of an overall whole.

Why Use Comparative Advertising?

Comparative advertising can be effective in convincing customers to buy your product instead of a competitor’s. For example: “Our chocolate ice cream has 30% less fat than Haagen-Dazs.” This claim could persuade customers to choose your product over a more expensive competitor.

It’s generally accepted by manufacturers and sellers. Because it allows them to highlight their strengths compared with competitors’. In some cases, comparative advertising can also help consumers make more informed decisions about what they buy.

Comparative advertising can also help consumers make more informed decisions about what they buy. #comparativeadvertising Click To Tweet

What are the benefits of comparative advertising in marketing campaigns?

It can be more cost-effective.

Best price

Comparative advertising can highlight your product’s strengths and positive qualities compared to your competitors, including their price tags! This means you might save some money by highlighting the aspects that make your product better than a competitor. Especially if this is something consumers care about.

It can help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions.

Buying decisions

Comparative advertising allows consumers to get a feel for how products compare. This can help them decide what is right for their needs. It also boosts consumer confidence, because it increases transparency in the marketplace.

Comparative advertising allows consumers to get a feel for how products compare. This can help them decide what is right for their needs. #comparativeadvertising Click To Tweet

It can increase market share.

Market share

Comparative advertising is often used to gain market share. Because it encourages consumers to try new products. This can help you grow your sales and improve your competitive position in the long run!

Who Should Use Comparative Advertising?

There are many reasons why comparative advertising might be beneficial to your marketing campaign, including:

You have a new product that you want to generate interest in.

Comparative advertising can help gain consumer attention and remind customers that you offer new products or services. Even if they’re not as well known or well-established as competitor’s offerings.

Your product offers unique features (i.e., it has superior functionality).

Comparative advertising can help highlight why your product is better than competitors’ products. Including its unique features, which might appeal to consumers who care about this kind of information.

You want to promote/sell a product priced higher or sold in limited quantities.

Comparative advertising can be beneficial if you want to direct customers towards products that are more expensive or might be harder to come by. Therefore, according to you, it’s valued for its rarity and premium quality.

Comparative Advertising Disadvantages

However, there can also be some drawbacks to using comparative advertising in your marketing efforts:

It could lead to to price wars.

Price war

Competing with competitors on price is not recommended, as this could lead to a race to the bottom and ultimately lower profits.

You may not be able to substantiate claims made.


Comparative advertising requires you to carefully assess the claims made about each of your products vs. those made by competitors, including any comparisons made with respect to price or quality. If you cannot support these claims through third-party research (i.e., independent studies), it would be best to avoid comparative advertising.

It might affect how consumers perceive your product.

Facial expressions

Comparative advertising can impact how customers perceive your products, including their quality and value for money, which are two key elements that influence purchasing decisions. Therefore, you should use this kind of marketing approach carefully.

It’s only as good as the claims made.

Just prove

You compare your product to competitors. And that’s hard for consumers to take this information at face value. Especially if it isn’t backed up with research or substantiated through third-party sources. Therefore, we recommend carefully testing comparative advertising and using it as part of your larger marketing mix – which should include other elements, such as traditional advertising and public relations, to ensure you get the most out of this approach.

Should I use comparative advertising when my products are not similar to competitors’ products?

In some cases, you might be tempted to compare your product to competitors’ products that are not as closely related as you would like. However, this could lead to confusion among consumers and reduced effectiveness for comparative advertising.

So you should always consider carefully what you compare your product to before going ahead with a comparative ad campaign. You could end up giving your competitor free publicity or potentially confuse your customers if you’re not careful.

Carefully consider what you compare your product to. You could end up giving your competitor free publicity. #comparativeadvertising Click To Tweet

Comparative Advertising Examples

1. This Samsung Galaxy S II ad is loaded with hilarious digs at iPhone fans.

2. Here’s an example of a comparative TV ad for Miller Lite in reaction to Bud Light’s controversial ad. 

3. The brilliant commercial of Audi shows you exactly the power of comparative ads. It shows the unique benefit of each competitor’s car brand and then implies that Audi has it all.

4. This Nike vs Adidas commercial is also a classic one. Where you first think it’s a Nike commercial, but then it’s revealed it’s an Adidas one.

5. The famous Apple commercial “Mac vs. PC” showed the comparison between two products (PC and Mac) to highlight the benefits of using Mac over PC.

Do’s and Don’ts when doing a comparative campaign


– Conduct research to find out what your target market is most interested in, and where they spend time online. By finding out which competitors are the largest, you can begin to build a case for selecting them as part of your comparison. Also, by doing this kind of research, you’ll better understand the consumer perspective and what is important to them.

– Be consistent with your comparative advertising. Ensure that, if you choose multiple competitors for comparison, the messaging will be similar throughout any marketing materials you produce (e.g., ads). If possible, try to use the same competitive comparisons in all your communication efforts (i.e., made in the same ad).

– Keep it simple, and try to focus on one or two comparisons. By keeping the messaging straightforward, you’ll avoid confusing your target market and overshadowing your main message.


– Don’t use this approach as a competitive attack against other companies. If you aren’t careful, comparative advertising can be misconstrued as a personal attack on another company or its products.

– Avoid targeting too many competitors at once. This could lead to your message being lost, and you should focus on a few of the top players within a given market.

– Make unsupported comparisons. This tactic is only effective if you can give consumers a reason to trust your brand and product over competitors’. If you don’t back up claims with tangible evidence, consumers may dismiss your comparative advertising altogether.

– Compare products that aren’t relevant or within the same market space. Doing this could confuse consumers and lead them to question why you compare apples and oranges.

Sample scripts for successful comparatives

To convince consumers of a brand’s superiority, companies can use many forms of comparison.

You’re not the only one who wants a healthier, safer choice for your family.

No matter how much it costs or what you have to do to get it – safety should never come at that price.

3 out of 4 doctors recommend GEICO.

Don’t be fooled by lower prices or confusing offers. The trick is to stop playing their game.

Price comparison: “What if your shoes cost $240 but they’re on sale for just $120? Would you buy them?”

Market-based approach: “Our product is more durable. It’s made to last.”

Individualized approach: “You deserve the best, so why settle for second best?”

Comparative advertising can be a very effective way of building brand awareness and showing consumers the clear benefits of your product. However, it is important to ensure that any comparisons are accurately presented and stand up to scrutiny. This will help avoid confusion and ensure your message is as effective as possible.


Marketing is a vast arena in which there are multiple styles and methods to accomplish one goal: getting your product out to consumers. Comparative advertising can be a very effective touchpoint in this process, but only if it’s done in a responsible manner.

So what is comparative advertising? It’s marketing through comparison using competitors’ products or services. It is a powerful tool in the marketing world because it allows companies to highlight their product’s positive qualities and the ways in which they are better than their competitors. In order for comparative advertising to be effective, however, it should be clear, transparent, and accurate.

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