Can I Advertise on the Same Stations as my Competition?

Brittany Kara

Brittany Kara About The Author

Apr 27, 2021 2:47:00 PM

Can I Advertise on the Same Stations as my Competition?

There are times when you're likely to come across two commercials back-to-back for nearly the same—if not the same—product or service. You may notice that they come from two different businesses competing for the same audience. These ads may have taken a gamble to position themselves off each other, but a considerable amount of strategy goes into competing commercials. 

You might also wonder if advertising against your competitor is worth it. In short, yes, it is. Competing on the same channels as your competitors can be helpful when properly implementing these strategies. There are specific ways to develop an effective competing strategy by creating ads using competitive analysis.

The following are some of the specific ways you can ethically and effectively approach this strategy and steal some of your competitors' thunder.

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Using Your Competitor's Channels To Your Advantage

Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 2.45.03 PMAlthough advertising on the same channel as your competitors is a more challenging tactic, it isn't one you should rule out. It's a tactic involving competitive analysis and strategy so you can capitalize on things your competitors aren't doing. You may also be able to identify other weaknesses that can become your own strategy's strengths. 

For example, you can subtly point out weaknesses they have or strengths you have, which can help you stand apart from competitors and draw customers. Based on your strengths and competitors' weak points, you can use this information to create TV commercials that intrigue and persuade your audience.

Compare Without Naming Your Competition

If you're worried about getting into any kind of trouble by bad mouthing competitors, there are workarounds you can use. It's possible to draw comparisons without explicitly naming your competitors and comparing yourself directly to them.

The key is to creatively position your brand without actually attacking your competition in the ad. You can list features you offer and mention that customers won't find them with similar brands. You can also simply point out what differentiates you from offerings that make them "industry firsts." Otherwise, if you name your competitors directly, this could land you in hot water in a few ways. 

In addition to leading to potential lawsuits, competitive brand marketing that speaks poorly of specific competitors can tarnish your reputation in the industry. Instead, figure out ways to emphasize how your offerings can give customers what they want, with details that speak to your unique strengths. In other words, spend less time taking down competitors and spend more of it talking up your business.

Advertising On Competing Digital Channels

Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 2.44.47 PMApart from TV commercials, digital ads offer many opportunities for "stealing" your competitor's customers. You can achieve this by bidding and targeting your ads similarly to competitors. There are plenty of ways to spread your brand name and grab audiences' attention. Try bidding on your competitor's name as a keyword or positioning your ads alongside their video or social media channels. In the process, you can draw more attention to your brand and away from competing businesses. As you increase your visibility on digital platforms, you'll more naturally steer people to your brand online.

Don't Pick A Fight If You Don't Have To

Similar products may have very different demographics. Keeping this in mind, targeting your audience might eliminate the need to go head-to-head with competitors on the same channel. For example, two car manufacturers may advertise a line of vehicles to audiences, but one pushes luxury vehicles to wealthy consumers while another one markets vehicles to cost-conscious customers. If you can segment your audiences and target a demographic that competitors aren't reaching, you can avoid picking a fight with the competition. 

Specifically targeting different demographics helps you create ads your customers find interesting and engaging without directly interfering with competitors. The best strategy here is to determine how to make sure your ad creative connects and engages with customers to ensure your ads resonate. Perform some initial research around your audiences, including segments that competitors may be neglecting. Use this to inform your ad creative and messaging. In turn, you can hold the attention of people your competitors are neglecting on the same channel.

Remain Competitive with a Marketing Strategy That Appeals to Your Strengths

Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 2.44.53 PMIf you want to advertise on the same channels as your competitors both on TV and online, you can do so with a highly competitive strategy. Regularly conduct competitive analysis that can help you capitalize on competitors' weaknesses while highlighting your advantages. If you can speak to your strengths without directly naming and attacking competitors, while targeting your audience’s neglected segments in the process, you can gain a competitive edge. At the same time, you'll avoid potential legal issues and other problems that may otherwise arise from direct competition.

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