Comparative advertising was evident in the 18th century but it gained momentum in the 20th century in Northern America. Throughout the twentieth century, many U.S. advertisers fought comparative advertising wars which grew increasingly hostile over time, created problems for the media delivering the advertisements, and raised concerns about potentially misleading advertising. Eventually, disparagement and the validity of comparative claims seem to have driven media advertising self-regulation policies. One of the first U.S. comparative ads dates to the 1930s wherein prospective automobile buyers were encouraged to “Look at all three” major automobiles before making a decision. Comparative advertising is a persuasive advertising strategy meant to communicate verbally and visually the competitive advantage of superior brands in the marketplace. Remember the Arial TVC advert? Whereby they suggestively portrayed brand X as a weak product. Certainly they ended up in court. But are there ways to ‘attack’ your competitor objectively? Yes there are creative ways to promote a product or service without bashing the competitor.

Comparative advertising

Comparative advertising

Head – head

Here you meet the competitor on the ground. Find out where the competitor is placing ads and book space next to them or after their ads ( TVC or Radio spot). Online, it gets even more interesting. Reach your competitors’ audience through Google display network. Recently Vivo energy (Shell) placed an Advert along Nairobi’s busiest Globe roundabout targeting motorists as well as the famous Grogon mechanics. But Total Kenya couldn’t let them have all the fan. They had to counter with a more appealing deal.


Identify the competitors audiences and group them according to their purchase power. Tailor deals that will excite them to try your product over their immediate preference. Total knew creative copy must be the deal, “Chomoka na credo”. This will definitely excite the mechanics to adopt total lubricants over Shell.

Product and Service

How is your competitor products rated in the market? Are there facts and figures that have been published by an authoritative research firm? What is the trend? Do customers prefer quantity over quality or viceversa! Can the quality be surpassed or matched at a lower price? Because price mostly drives customer traffic. Naivas supermarkets position themselves on customer friendly prices of goods.


Sometimes setting up a shop next to competitors means more business to you. Customers who could have been mishandled, lost or use price as a determinant suddenly becomes loyal and even refer others over the competitor bad services.


Learning new ways that improve the customer experience at the point of sale keeps a business ahead of its competitors. This is a unique factor to amplify products and services likeability while downplaying others. Safaricom Plc had blocked competitors from riding on it’s strong infrastructure for sometimes before the regulator intervened. They still use that advantage to command the market as the strongest network provider. Therefore, to comparatively advertise, rattle a competitors niche, offer unique deals, innovate, be accessible and technologically ahead. Consult further on ways to maximize market share in a niche market. brand@designhubconsult.com or Call:+254 707 624629