Nov. 6, 2008 – The historic election of Illinois
Sen. Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States on Tuesday was
greeted with joy and optimism around the world, with most observers
predicting the new president will strive to renew global co-operation
and progress toward peace and economic prosperity. However, Obama's
ascendancy couldn't come at a bleaker time as Wall Street's spasms
continue to upset domestic and international markets. Desperate to spur
sales, companies are telling marketers to "go negative" with
advertising taking aim at their competition – the soup war between
Campbell's and Progresso is a great example, and a campaign that drives me farther away from both brands the longer it continues. In fact, the food and beverage industry in
particular seems to be a hotbed for name-calling and fun-poking, with
Domino's Pizza attacking Subway and Burger King taking shots at
McDonald's. And then, of course, there's the grand-daddy of them all: Coke vs. Pepsi.
"When hard times hit, the singing, dancing and emotional ads go out the
window, and clients say, 'How do I nail my competitor?'" said Jack
Trout, president of marketing-strategy firm Trout & Partners, in an
Oct. 2 Wall Street Journal article.
"In a downturn, people are being more and more careful on how they are
spending their money, and more than usual you have to make sure you are
breaking through and giving them a reason to buy you," Domino's USA
president Patrick Doyle told the Journal in the same article.
We've certainly come to expect
negative ads during political campaigns, but what do you think about
the nasty ads popping up in this economic downturn? Are they effective or a big turn-off? Are they here to stay or just a trend? Would you ever consider using negative advertising
to gain an advantage over a competitor? Let us know your thoughts on this issue.
Written by Andre Kingston on 2008-11-19 13:43:45
I say if you have to resort to name-calling and finger pointing, then you do not have a good enough product to worry about. An excellent product may sell less during hard times, but they will survive in-spite of any attack campaign against them without having to resort the same.
Written by Chris on 2008-11-19 12:06:01
The times are already negative, and adding more negative ads to the mix is not going to help consumers out. In times of trouble, people stick with what has always worked for them. Businesses would save money if they could be satisfied with present market share, and not strive for dominance.
Written by Vic Frumolt on 2008-11-13 13:30:56
Negative ads during the hard times run the risk of making the pie smaller - for everyone.