How To Bury Your Competitor

I’m not a fan of advertising. At a time when authenticity rules, most ads are contrived and unconvincing. When was the last time an ad inspired you to buy something?

Drug companies are the worst, running the same hokey spots for decades. Awkward actors, cliche copy, endless disclaimers and a forgettable product name. Ask your doctor if Proctoxatriadilzolamine is right for you.

The better question may be: Is that the best you’ve got?

Great advertising is a seduction. It breaks through the clutter and makes an emotional connection. We’re intrigued and lean in for more. The best ads make us laugh, or cry, or think or hunger for their product. Like this from BMW

BMW is not shy about provoking other car makers. In fact, they’re famous for aggressive turf battles. But in this ad, BMW salutes Mercedes, their direct competitor. And they do it with compassion, respect and class.

Until the last three seconds.

Here’s my take. BMW achieved the holy grail of advertising. They made me care. I got sucked into the storyline and intrigued by their subtlety. No boasting, tent sales or 0% financing.

BMW’s message was the whisper that screams.

There’s a method to BMW’s madness. We watch as Mercedes’ retiring CEO drives into the sunset. The implication being that Mercedes is the car for seniors, and their parents. Old, sedate folks on the downside of life.

Now if you’re looking for fun, driving a ‘bimmer’ makes you feel alive.

You don’t see the punchline coming. But when it does, it’s delicious. You actually feel the exhilaration of hitting the road in a BMW with the top down. 

Meanwhile, Mercedes never felt the knife in their ribs.

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *