When one does not have anything nice to say about their own selves, Then speaking about another's lesser qualities serves the purpose and sometimes, produces better results. That is how negative advertising works. However, it is not as easy. It requires tact and civility. One cannot hurl insults as do teenaged street fighters. While bestowing praise is as easy as criticism, it is constructive criticism that is highly appreciated. If delivered tactfully and accepted gracefully, it not only improves products and services, but also C2B relationships.
When the sole focus of an advertisement is entirely on the weaker aspects of their competitor, it refers to negative advertisement or attack ads. This is common in politics, especially in the recent presidential campaign practices, where candidates are talking less about what they "can do for their country" and more about what their opponents cannot do for their country.
The core element targeted in this line of attack is as precious to the target as it is to the attacker, which is reputation. The heightened sensitivity is contributed by social media, which can quickly turn the popularity of a brand into a nightmarish infamy.
Brand advertisements use a similar approach in their marketing campaigns. Some use the very direct and frontal attack, such as a recently released YouTube video by a famous hamburger company, who boldly portrayed their equally famous competitors in a negative light. The humorous touch seemed to lighten what otherwise would have seemed vicious. That is how careful one has to be when using this approach, especially on social media, where counter attacks by competitors are equally quick to respond.
There are various other approaches that may be used, some obvious and some not obvious. As social media continues to evolve, so do advertising campaigns. Some negative advertisements do not even fall under the traditional categories. One such instance is a Facebook initiative that recently caught the attention of media. According to news reports, Facebook employees are to use a renowned smartphone device and offer suggestions at improving its faulty features. Apparently, Facebook's intention is not to portray the brand in a negative light. The aim is to show off their skills by improving the feature services. In doing so, if one reads between the lines, the social network is not only pinpointing the faults, they are implying how the original company is unable to do what they can. Some reviewers believe this is Facebook's way of building their mobile reputation, which is not faring well. Then again, one may also view the same by changing their perspective and seeing the negative from a positive angle, in which both companies could benefit from the venture, if implemented.
Advertising has more complexities not immediately understood. It requires in-depth research to ensure correct facts before using them against one's competitors. Exercised with care, professional marketers, including Facebook application developers who market their apps, can take full advantage of negative advertising, without crossing the line. It is also wise to use the strategy infrequently, because what may initially be seen as a clever use of advertising will begin to sound like incessant complaining. Consequently, people will tune off rather than pay attention to the advertisement.