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7 Ad-offs that reveal the cheeky side of advertising 

We see dozens of humdrum advertisements on a daily basis. Most of them involve ostentatious efforts to endorse a product as the pure, life-changing essence of awesome. So there’s nothing like watching one brand demote another brand’s product and call it pure garbage for a change. Its even better when the other brand strikes back. After all, everybody loves a good fight.

Not many brands wage that war, so the rarity makes it even better. Here are 7 memorable instances when brands had a go at each other:

1. Audi vs. BMW

On a regular day in LA commuters on their daily beat found this brazen billboard.

Image credits:

Both cars are about the same size, with the BMW perhaps being an inch or 2 shorter. But BMW decided to go with a bigger and grander canvas, and a contrasting one too. White on a black background as opposed to Audi’s. But it wasn’t done there.

Who had the last laugh? 

2. Fedex vs. DHL:

Fedex decided to use trucks as their canvases to express their superiority over their main rivals- DHL and UPS. 

Here was FedEx's way of saying they're always ahead. Their dig at UPS was equally creative. 

While UPS decided to stay silent, DHL had something to say. Its unclear who went first but with a simple idea, they got two birds with one stone. 

3. Coca Cola vs. Pepsi 

Probably the first two brands that come to anyone’s mind when someone says ‘brand rivalry.’ Pepsi began with a salvo of photo ads subtly aimed at its rival. 

Credits: PepsiCo USA, 2012

Credits: PepsiCo USA, 2012

Coca Cola didn't respond on many occasions, but when they did, it was priceless. 

4. McDonald's vs. Burger King

Here’s another battle of two food giants and old foes. The two fast food chains are competitors in almost every market and things got really interesting in their ad campaigns in France. It began with a snide TV ad from McDonald's boasting of its superior network of restaurants and drive-thrus.  Burger King took it as less of a threat and more of an opportunity. 

It's pretty clear who had the last laugh here. 

5. The Hindu vs. The Times of India

As 2 of the major dailies in India, both ‘The Hindu’ and ‘The Times of India’ were famous and infamous for different things. The Times began with a TV ad subtly aimed at their rival. The Hindu however, took a less subtle approach with its retort.

6. Samsung vs. Apple 

Although known to be a pretty one-sided battle, this one's too precious to miss out on any list. Taking digs at Apple appears to be one of Samsung’s core competencies. Here are just a few of the many shots they fired at them. 

With all the flak Apple Maps was getting for its inaccuracies, Samsung decided to incorporate it in the promotion of their new phone- the S3. A large SUV straight out of an adventure trail and loaded with camping equipment stood on a busy downtown street in Sydney, totally lost. 
With the buzz around Apple Maps fresh on everyone's mind at the time, it was easy to understand what Samsung meant. 

Here was another instance where they promoted the S3 at Apple's expense. 

Another opportunity struck soon after the release of the iPhone 6 when many customers had reported that the phone was not sturdy enough and was getting easily bent in their pockets. Samsung showed no mercy and made the iPhone 'bend' in submission. 

While Samsung was aggressive against its rival on billboards and posters, Apple focused its energies on battles in the market and in the courts. 
Apple in fact was known to file innumerable lawsuits against Samsung on patent infringements. They were less interested in the war of words. While Samsung claimed that Apple's products were over-hyped and lacking in substance, Apple believed that Samsung's were unauthentic knock-offs. On earth day, Apple released an ad about its green practices with the use of solar energy while supposedly addressing all its competitors, though everyone knew whom it was mainly aimed at. 

Credits: 2014 Apple Inc. 

7. Mercedes vs. Jaguar 

Saving the best one for the last, this media war needs no introduction. Luxury car-makers often find themselves in a highly competitive market due to which they have plenty to bicker about. Jaguar's response to Mercedes-Benz's claims of unparalleled stability is simply brutal. Watch the video here.  

How on earth do you recover from that? Well, Mercedes made its retort with a simple poster only 3 days later. 

 Credits: ©2013 Mercedes Benz 

Any other battle you can think of that should have made this list? 

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