Comparative Advertising

I recently came across the ad below. It’s an example of a classic comparative advertising where one brand attacks another. This particular ad caught my attention because the players seemed to have switched position from just a few years ago. This time, Nissan attacks Hyundai. Why is this interesting?

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In a comparative advertising, the brand that does the attacking is usually the less established brand that trails in market share, a follower. The follower always attacks the leader in hopes to bite off some of leader’s market share. You never see Coke attacking Pepsi, McDonald’s attacking Burger King, Skippy attacking Peter Pan, or Heinz attacking Hunt’s or Del Monte. The leader always keeps its cool.

Being a car enthusiast myself I’m always aware of ins and outs of car industry. It’s no secret that over the past few years Nissan has been losing market share. And that Nissan as a brand is no longer in the race among top automobile brands. But what I didn’t see coming was the day that Nissan had fallen so low that it has to attack a Hyundai Elantra. It’s also interesting to note that the name Sentra has been around since 1982, ten years before Elantra was introduced. And that Nissan held the position as the #2 among top Asian car makers long before and after Hyundai as a brand was even introduced in the U.S. Nissan may have been resting on its laurels for far too long. While I’m not quite sure that Hyundai as a brand has yet become the one to beat, but apparently it has become the one for Nissan to beat.

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