Big brands and their smart advertising examples

Brands have always used outstanding, eye-catching advertisement strategies to win the hearts and minds of people. Some brands attempt to use gigantic billboard or a full front page on newspapers to get attention of more consumers.

Massive imagery with a killer catchphrase – Yeah that will do.

But your competitors won’t let you enjoy the spotlight alone. It is only then when things get much more intense and entertaining for consumers.

Sometimes brands have even taken the battles from billboards to the space and beyond. Basically some are willing to do anything to build the hype.

How to win a marketing battle?

  • Stella vs Newcastle Brown Ale  

Two different beers, two different characters. Stella Artois want to sell classy and sumptuous lifestyle, possibly in order to get rid of that uncomfortable reputation as the chav’s favourite drink – the beer is nicknamed “the wife beater”.

“Drink From a Chalice, Not a Glass’’

But then it got hilariously mocked by Newcastle Ale and by people who never heard of the fancy word.

Takeaway: mate, it’s beer, not champagne, take it easy. Or, as Newcastle Brown Ale’s slogan reads, “NO BOLLOCKS”.

  • Audi vs BMW  

This fierce chess-themed, million-dollar scale billboard war was quite a hype.

Everything started a while ago when Audi ignited the war against BMW. It proudly placed an advertisement saying ‘Your Move, BMW’. 

And that had woken up BMW who responded with the famous checkmate advertisement, which then again led to another counter-advertisement by Audi. But BMW’s next move pretty much ended the game with a clear winner and loser.

Takeaways: Sometimes it’s easy to start a war, but hard to end one. (And when you really want to end it, take the battle to the space.)

  • FedEx vs DHL    

Probably one of the smartest way to market themselves by transforming their iconic corporate bans into a marketing strategy against the competitor (see more on oddee).

“FedEx, always first”, “FedEx trucks are one step ahead” – the messages have clearly delivered across.

Takeaway: You don’t need spend millions of dollars on advertising space when you already got it.

  • Fly Kingfisher vs Jet Airways  

“We’ve changed.” can be a two-sided message. We’ve changed – we used to be good but we want to be even better. Or, we’ve changed – because, as you know, we were pretty awful so we had to change.

At least in their competitor’s opinion, they sounded like the latter.

Takeaway: Careful of what you say.

  • Avis vs. Hertz 

Back in 1962, Hertz was a de facto monopoly in car rental market in the United States. So Avis, who had only 11% of the market share that time, came up with an advertising strategy (or shall I call it a manifesto) that listed all the advantages of being a smaller company, as opposed to ‘big mean corporate giant’ (read more on YouTheDesigner).

How successful was it? “In a matter of a single year, that campaign reversed the company’s fortunes, helping it to go from losing $3.2 million to turning a profit of $1.2 million for the first time in 13 years.”, says Ad Age.

Takeaway: Even if your competitor is much bigger than you, you can turn your small enterprise into a great business advantage by being ‘honest’.

What do you think?

Appnova is a digital agency specializing in web design, UX, e-commerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.

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