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Discussion: Naming the competition

Okay, so this isn’t about books, but it is about words and how things are written, which is good enough, right? :)

In the last couple months there’s been an ad campaign war of sorts between two major Canadian companies. Both are claiming to offer a service for less than the competitor, and both are clearly targeting the other. The difference is in how.

When I first saw this ad, and the TV ads that go with it, I thought it was kind of cute. The reference to the competitor is quite sly (the competitor’s logo is blue).

A couple weeks later, these ads started showing up, and my jaw dropped. Calling out the competition by name! Really classy. :P

Companies calling out their competition is nothing new–I grew up with Duracell vs. Energizer commercials. But to me, how it’s done has a pretty big effect on how I feel about the ad. And ads that go out of their way to name their competition… just seems like poor taste to me. I’m actually less likely to buy a product or service if I see a company turning to those sort of tactics.

(Actually, I could see this coming up with book promotion, too… To me there’s a pretty big difference between saying something like, “No sparkly vampires here!” and something like, “My book is way better than Twilight!”)

What about the rest of you? Does it bother you when a company (or whatever) targets another in their promotional efforts? If it’s subtle? Overt? Or do you figure anything goes in advertising?

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Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
Yoiks - not only did they use the name but the ad is almost exactly the same, style-wise! I wasn't expecting that.

It does seem a bit childish on Bell's side. I think it made me giggle more than irritated me, but I'm not quite sure how it would affect my choice.
Aug. 7th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
I'm probably more inclined to be irritated by Bell in the first place, because we *used* to be with them, and had no end of trouble. :P
Aug. 7th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
not so random commenter
This reminds me of the Mac adds, I have always been a PC girl...but I never actively disliked Mac until they started having those commercials.
Aug. 7th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
Re: not so random commenter
Yeah, I mean, I think that's a little different (because PC is a... format? type? of computer rather than one specific company, so it's a little less "personal"), but really any time I see a company overtly criticizing the competition, it rubs me the wrong way.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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