That’s because great competitive advertising is engaging enough and clever enough that the consumer forgets the negative campaigning or chest thumping that it really is. Take for example the popular “Number One-Selling” claim. It may not be an easy feat to achieve (becoming #1), but just like scoring a touchdown, once the feat is accomplished, it is easier to do the victory dance than it is to let your silent run past the opposing team do all the talking for you.
Within the mind of the consumer, there are categorical ladders on which the consumer subconsciously hangs various brands, according to the position the consumer sees a particular brand as occupying. Because of this, positioning the competition is a useful strategy for companies that have not yet gained a position in the consumer’s mind, or want to differentiate themselves from a category leader.
I have often heard business owners complain that customers are not coming through the door or that sales are down, and it comes as no surprise for me to often find out they have no marketing plan, or a poor one at best. Furthermore, I have seen companies embark on a “marketing” campaign, only to watch them put out advertising that stands in stark contrast to the goals they are actually trying to fulfill or should be trying to fulfill. For example, doing a steep incentive campaign when the goal is actually to build a brand image; conversely there are others who embark on an image campaign when their biggest need is short term sales fulfillment.
The discipline of Public Relations, typically referred to simply as PR, is multi-faceted. PR is part art, part science, part psychology and part gut. It demands great thinking, great writing, a great eye for a story, and the ability to get the right information into the right person’s hands at the right time. As illustrated in the definition, a wide variety of individuals and organizations use PR to promote awareness and shape opinion.