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Five examples of how brands respond directly to rivals' campaigns - BMW, Jaguar, Microsoft and more


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

July 28, 2014 | 2 min read

With Virgin Holidays using Three’s #holidayspam campaign to cheekily suggest that no, those on holiday should celebrate by posting photos, we take a look at how other companies have jumped on another brand’s advertising bandwagon.


Possibly the best-known example of a brand response to a rival’s advertising was regarding BMW, which acted quickly when a billboard in Santa Monica for Audi A4 featured the tagline “Your move, BMW.”

The response was sadly not from BMW itself, but a Santa Monica BMW dealership.

Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale took a pot shot at Stella Artois and its Cidre sensibilities in this New York-based campaign.

This fits in with Newcastle’s ‘no nonsense’ strapline.

BMW (again)

It’s another reply from BMW – and the second of three auto examples – perhaps proving that car brands can be quickest off the brakes.

Mercedes released an ad suggesting that the quality of the car was why Christopher White survived a real crash on Chapmans Peak. In response, BMW suggested that not crashing at all would be better.


Microsoft hit back at Google following the release of its Chrome: Now Everywhere ad promoting the browser.

The parody ad suggested that Chrome really was ‘now everywhere’ because it tracked the data of its users.

Jaguar and Mercedes

"What do chickens and Mercedes-Benz have in common? Stability at all times,” suggested the Mercedes ad, which was parodied by Jaguar in an ad which ended “We prefer cat-like reflexes”.

However, the spat didn't end there. Mercedes then hit back again, stating “cat-like reflexes aren’t fast enough”.

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