Today’s marketing space has become extremely competitive and ads have become increasingly aggressive. It has come to the point where brands feel the need to take direct swipes at their competitors to establish their superiority in the market. Many rivalries have been born out of such advertising but very few can stand up to the classic clashes between Pepsi and Coca-Cola. The two brands have been at each other’s necks for the longest time and a lot of amazing ad war campaigns have been born out of this rivalry.
One interesting 2013 campaign by Pepsi’s Belgian ad agency showed a Pepsi can wearing a Coca-Cola cloak and the ad read, “We wish you a scary Halloween!”. They cleverly interchanged the ‘C’ and ‘L’ on the cloak to avoid copyright issues. While the ad was very clever, Coca-Cola fans on social media were quick to edit the ad to turn the tables on Pepsi. They merely changed the text to completely change the meaning of the ad. The changed text read, “Everybody wants to be a hero!”. This tiny detail made the ad look like the can of Pepsi was wearing a superhero cape instead of a Halloween costume. Coca-Cola delivered the perfect comeback without even having to lift a finger.
This goes to show that brands must be really careful while mocking their competition on social media. The message in the ad should be clear and to the point since any ambiguity can and will be used against it. Take a look