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Do you work in an industry that is highly competitive, especially in an area that is very familiar with your type of product or service? Getting leverage might be difficult, but with competitive advertising, you can present yourself as the most favorable option. Here’s how competitive advertisements for print media can help you get ahead.

The Basics of Competitive Advertising

Competitive advertising is the strategy of marketing your products and services in a way that makes them seem better than those of your competitors. In this strategy, you use proven points about why yours is better. You can keep it simple by saying you’re the best in the city or by highlighting a feature of your offer that is more appealing such as, “Our company offers twice the discounts as the competition!” There are two main ways to approach this strategy.

You can focus on your own assets and emphasize your benefits, or you can highlight the weaknesses of your competitors’ offers. Consider political races—many times a party will focus more on how the competitor is falling short. Although its paints the opposition in a negative light, this competitive strategy is highly effective. For your retail business, however, this tactic might be too controversial and negative. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where the bigger company sues you for libel. If you choose to claim your competitor is weaker in a certain area, be sure to support your claims with data.

The 4 W’s of Competitive Advertising

WHO are your competitors and how can you find them?

The first step to creating a competitive ad campaign is knowing who your competitors are. Begin with a few simple searches on an online search engine. Type in your product or service to see if other brand shows up in the results. If you only focus on local clients, include your location in your search criteria to narrow down to your local competition. Once you have your results, think about how your customer might search for your product online and whether they would notice you first or your competitors. What keywords would they search when looking for your product or service online?

WHAT ads are they using?

After finding your major competitors, or your biggest competitor, it’s time to look at their ads. What features of their banner ads seem to work? Which features don’t? What colors do they use? How much text is on their ad? What does their call-to-action look like?

WHERE are they placing their ads?

Find out where your competitors are placing their ads and consider whether these sources could be good for your business. Where do they post their ads? Do they have advertisements in magazines and newspapers, online, or on television?

WHEN did this campaign start? How long has it been running?

While investigating your competitors, pay attention to how long their ad campaigns have been running. Is this their first run? Have they been advertising for a few months? Years? Programs like Traffic Source can help you get a more detailed look at these numbers.

Examples of Competitive Advertising

Crest vs. Colgate

The major rivalry in the toothpaste industry is between Crest (owned by Proctor & Gamble) and Colgate. The ad campaigns for these companies continuously go against each other, whether they are advertising toothpaste, white strips, or other dental products.

Fast Food Sandwiches

Another industry where competitive advertising is seen is the fast-food sandwich realm. From Burger King and Wendy’s to A&W and McDonald’s, there’s no end to the competition between burger freshness, quality ingredients, exciting flavors, or crispiest fries.

Energizer vs. Competitor

Energizer has hit the jackpot with advertising, especially with its trademark pink Energizer bunny. It continues to use competitive advertising by showing itself as a market leader. By comparing the length of their battery life through live demonstrations, they set themselves as the best in their market.

Dove vs. Other Deodorants

In the deodorant industry, female customers have long expressed their issues with the products rubbing off or staining their clothing. To promote its new aerosol antiperspirant and to show how it is better than other products like it, it asked customers to literally spray their clothing with it. The live demonstration and the honest no-residue results of their product instantly won over the audience.

How North American Media Can Help with Your Competitive Ad Campaign

A great competitive ad campaign can take your business to the skies as you beat out the competition for customers. However, it must be done with care and honesty. It also should be portrayed in a way that focuses on the positives of your product, rather than a campaign that is simply about bashing the competition. If you’re interested in creating a competitive ad campaign, it’s valuable to work with a professional marketing agency.

At North American Media, we specialize in helping our clients create robust, effective, successful newspaper and print ad campaigns. We can help you create an effective competitive ad campaign that shows how your product solves the problem that customers find with your competitors’ options. We’ll help you reach your target audience and provide you with sound advice as to how frequently you should distribute your ads. Our services are customized, so you can work within your budget and only pay for the services you need. We will also help you understand the different print media costs, and how to create a comparative ad that is effective and abides by the rules.

Our services also include direct mail marketing, list & insert brokerage, data solutions, list fulfillment, list management, digital media and radio, TV & Podcast media. For more information about competitive advertising, advertisement costs in print media, and how we can help grow your business contact us today!