Healthcare Marketing Blog

Attack Advertising vs. Brand Building

This week I’ve seen two examples of creative advertising.


The first was KFC “trolling” McDonald’s new Big Mac with their trucks and some social media buzz. 


KFC van with We Fixed it for you slogan

Kraft Peanut Butter Ad

The second one was by Kraft Peanut Butter, where they omitted their own logo and had cheeky slogans like “A staple in 1 out of 193 countries. This campaign plays on both Kraft’s brand recognition and Canadian Identity. 

One brand tried to make fun of the industry leader, while another was very confident in its brand recognition. Which type of marketing is better? The opinions on the subject will differ, but in my mind focusing on your own brand is usually better.

Burger Wars and Attack Advertising

KFC’s campaign type is Attack Advertising, a sub-type of Comparative advertising. KFC is one of many brands that tried to go after McDonald’s. The most famous campaign is by Burger King.

For decades, Burger King has had to craft their brand identity as distinct from McDonald’s. In the 1980s, Burger King launched their “Have it Your Way” campaign, which focused on customizable burgers in contrast to McDonald’s standardized menu. In the 2000s, Burger King started targeting McDonald’s in their ads, using humour and satire to criticize their rival’s products and positioning themselves as the edgier alternative.

While these attack ads may have generated buzz, they have yet to translate into a higher market share for Burger King. Burger King is in a constant state of trying to turn around their struggle. At the same time, McDonald’s continues to dominate the fast food industry.

So, what’s the lesson here? Rather than attacking the competition, companies should prioritize building a solid and unique brand identity. By highlighting their strengths and offerings, companies can positively differentiate themselves rather than relying on negative tactics. This approach can help build a solid and loyal customer base that will stick with your brand no matter what the competition does.

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