Commercials are for persuading the audience to buy a product, but the products in these ads have competition. If a company wants to be one step ahead of another, comparative advertising is an effective solution. Comparative advertising identifies competitors by mentioning other companies’ names or logos.
Comparisons of brands in commercials have positive sides. One of the positive sides of comparison of brands in commercials is this can more easily convince the audience to purchase the product. The outcome of this will be that one of the brands will have an advantage over the other brand. For example, let’s look at Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Dunkin Donuts prepared a commercial that said most people preferred Dunkin Donut’s coffee to Starbucks coffee. People tasted the coffees of both brands when they didn’t know which coffee belonged to which brand and preferred Dunking Donut’s coffee. Therefore Dunkin Donuts has an advantage against Starbucks because people who will watch this commercial will think that Dunkin Donuts is better because more people prefer it to Starbucks. Comparative advertising increases the competitiveness between brands. Because of this there will be more interesting commercials and may lead to companies decreasing price and making improvements in products.
There are negative sides of comparing brands in commercials too. The companies can give false information to the audience and because of this the audience can be mislead. For example, in the Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts ad, Dunkin Donuts might have given some other coffee instead of Starbucks’s or Dunkin Donut’s coffee. For that reason the audience can be mislead. Also, when you mention another brand in an advertisement, that brand gets free publicity. Why give your competitor free publicity?
In Turkey, commercials can’t mention any other brand’s name or show the logo of any other brand. If an advertisement doesn’t mention any other brand’s names, it is thought, it won’t mislead the audience, it won’t confuse the audience and if it’s not unfair competition. Misleading the audience and saying bad and wrong things about other brands or brand’s owners is unfair competition.
There are many other examples of comparative advertising.
Advil mentions Tylenol in its commercial. “With Advil® PM, you’ll spend less time awake with aches and pains and more time asleep than with Tylenol® PM.*”
Also in 1980, Pepsi made an advertisement where people did a blind taste and chose Pepsi over Coca Cola.
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Comparative advertising increases the competition between brands and should be allowed in Turkey. The Government can control misleading information and unfair competition by using legal controls.