Audi v BMW: comparative advertising

Written by Kurt | Tuesday, 04 January 2011 23:58

In many countries comparative advertising, advertising in which a competitor is basically ridiculed over their 'inferior' product, is not allowed. Except of course in the 'land of the free', the USA, where you can, lovely, as it always makes for some entertaining advertising. Which is why Audi have made numerous campaigns telling us why their Bavarian rival, BMW, is inferior. Which is why BMW is doing exactly the same in response. All resulting in an elegant bit of intellectual mud throwing, that's dynamic advertising for you, time to show you some with other words.

After rummaging through our little web archive we stumbled upon some old favourites. Most notably a whole television ad by Audi which they dare to call 'a friendly competition'. Just take a look for yourself by watching the clip underneath. Especially notice the pay-off 'truth in engineering'. Which could easily be replaced with 'truth in advertising', if you want to be ironic that is.

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It doesn't stop there though, Audi manages to incorporate and maligne BMW, Mercedes and Lexus all in one advertisement.

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This results in one question; why? They do it with a good sense of humor, yes. But, are Americans that dumb that they react to brands slagging off other brands? That's doubtful, it more looks like a charade at primary school, top trumps. Who has the biggest. Who has the most expensive. Which is going to impress your mates the most. In the end there is a cool conclusion; even if your 35 years old, you have a career, you've gained wisdom over the years and can afford a premium German car, there is one thing that stays the same; the inner-kid. We just want to play on top trumps like we used to. What better way for an advertisement to exactly appeal to this. Comparative advertising then: we want more!