Comparative Advertising: What Have We Learned in Two Decades?

A discussion of comparative advertising (where brands are advertised through directly comparing against/attacking other brands).

Comparative Advertising: What Have We Learned in Two Decades?

Thomas E Barry

A recent advertisement carries the following headline:

Comparing a used Dodge Spirit to a new Honda Accord seemed a little ridiculous. Until we saw the results.

To many practitioners and academics, comparative advertising is ridiculous; to others, it is a very effective means of competing in the marketing communication war. During the last 20 years, advertisers have increasingly used the comparative advertis