Competitors’ attacking each other in their advertising isn’t anything new. Coke and Pepsi, Apple and PC, and Burger King and McDonald’s have been at each other, on and off, for what seems like forever. However, what happens when two competitors basically run the exact same campaign? That’s what has been going on in the telecommunications industry in Canada. Rogers and Bell have been sharing blows and, well, no one seems to be able to tell the difference.
Rogers launched this ad below, saying that their home phone is just as good as Bell but for a percentage of the price. The concept shows a couch, half in red, representing Rogers, and half in blue, representing Bell. The headline reads: Simply better by comparison. Compare Rogers Home Phone and see how much you save.
They don’t mention Bell by name, only the use of the colour blue. It isn’t a direct shot at Bell, but we all understand who they’re referring to.
Not long after, Bell countered with the following ad. Their ad shows a much longer couch, with the majority of it being blue and only the tail end in red. Their headline reads: Get more than Rogers for less than Rogers. Not only do they use the same concept as the Rogers campaign but they come out and mention Rogers by name.
Both companies have since launched full campaigns based on their couches. Rogers has a television spot and the Home Phone Challenge microsite extending the concept that you save more on the red side of the couch. Meanwhile Bell has been running print ads and messaging on their web site, comparing Rogers pricing and how much more you can save with Bell services.
The problem that neither company seems to realize is that their ads look so much the same that they’re confusing everybody. Until I did research for this blog, I had no idea which ad was for which company. I would see a blue and red couch on a busboard around the city and would be confused as to whether it was for Bell or Rogers.
They’re promoting each other, and the concept is identical so it basically looks like one campaign rather than for two different competitors.
So I will throw the question out to anyone reading this, who do you think wins this one? Because in my opinion, they both lose.