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Blog: Cry-Baby Ads Loose
Hallo... I do not like comparison advertising! When I see such ads, I think for example, why does Colgate toothpaste have to tell me that Crest toothpaste is not a good product and that it will not clean my teeth well? Why doesn't Colgate tell me how great their product is and how it will make my teeth shine - without mentioning Crest?

The 'Cry-Baby Ad' as I call it, makes me lean away from a product. I don't want to hear why Tide detergent is better than Cheer, or why Post cereal is better than General Mills. I would rather hear the positives and strengths of a product, than the negatives of a competitor's product. I want to hear what XYZ product can do for me and how it stands out of the crowd, without dragging the crowd into the equation and through the mud.

After a little Consumer Psychology research on the net, I found a solution: Expansion Advertising - wow! The research of Wansink and Ray studied 3 types of expansion ads:

1 - Noncomparison ads simply state that a target brand is a reasonable choice for the target situation ("Use Arm & Hammer Baking Soda as a refrigerator deodorant").

2 - Product comparison ads associate the target brand with the target situation by positioning or comparing the target brand with another product that is already associated with that situation ("Eat Orville Redenbacher Popcorn as an afternoon snack instead of potato chips").

3 - Situation comparison ads associate the use of the target brand in a new situation with its use in a more familiar situation ("Special K breakfast cereal is as good at snack time as it is at breakfast").

Conclusion: Situation Comparison Ads were found to be more persuasive and they encourage the consumer to focus on the benefits of the product. Oh yes, this is how I like marketing marketed to me!

Marich 6th, 2005