Advertising Wars: 28 of the best ad wars between rival companies

by Mar 13, 2014Brand, Tactical0 comments

AUTHOR’S NOTE: During the past month, we posted everyday about crazy advertising wars on our Facebook page. It’s incredible how creative marketers can get with advertising when it comes to trash-talking, belittling and “one-upping” the competition. Here is some of the best #AdWars we have come across:

Ad wars between car companies.


#1 BMW vs. Mercedes Benz
ad wars Mercedes and BMW
#2 BMW vs. Audi… Round 1
ad wars BMW advertising
#3 BMW vs. Audi… Round 2

How far can they go with this?!

ad wars Audi and BMW

#4 Audi vs. BMW… A New Match

Clever comeback, Audi! We don’t agree so much with the chess comment though…

ad wars Audi billboard
#5 BMW vs. Audi… At it again!
#6 Subaru vs. BMW and Audi.

Subaru gets in on the fun between the German rivals. Nicely done!

ad wars, Subaru ad
#7 Nissan vs. Audi.

Nissan buys an Audi TT only to use it against them to promote

their more powerful and less expensive 370z model. Guerrilla Marketing at its best.

ad wars, Nissan ad
#8 Jaguar vs. Mercedes Benz.

First a Benz ad, then a Jaguar attack ad, followed by a Benz response ad. These are pretty funny!

Caffeine advertising wars.


#9 McDonalds vs… Starbucks?

Is this meant for Starbucks? Probably. McDonalds identified that the premium coffee market needed a lower cost alternative.

ad Wars McDonald's billboard
#10 Second Cup vs. Starbucks.

It is easy for Starbucks to be labelled as snooty for using Italian words like Tall, Grande and Venti

for coffee sizes. Second cup certainly uses it against them here:

ad wars Second Cup ad
#11 McDonald’s vs. Tim Hortons (in Canada)

It isn’t a coincidence that McDonalds offers free coffee during Tim Horton’s infamous “Roll Up The Rim” contests.

Competitors can be ruthless.

ad wars McDonald's
#12 Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Starbucks

Fun Fact: this DD ad even inspired a line of apparel and bumper stickers!

It seems as though Starbucks is proving to be an easy target for ad wars.

ad wars, Dunkin' Donuts

Coke vs. Pepsi ad wars.

Pepsi and Coke have engaged in advertising wars for decades, especially with TV commercials. There are some really good ones on YouTube.


#13 Round 1.

Coke for the win.

ad wars Coke and Pepsi ads
#14 Round 2

Pepsi for the win.

ad wars Coke and Pepsi billboards
#15 Pepsi Max vs. Coke Zero

Ever wonder why Pepsi named their no-calorie beverage “Pepsi Max”? Well, now you know.

ad wars Pepsi billboards
#16 These guys don’t quit!

Apparently, Santa only drinks Coke when he’s paid to around Christmas. Pepsi for the win.

ad wars Pepsi ad

Hi-tech ad wars.

Pepsi and Coke have engaged in advertising wars for decades, especially with TV commercials. There are some really good ones on YouTube.


#17 Samsung vs. Apple.

Samsung’s ad…

ad wars Samsung and Apple
#18 Apple vs. Samsung

And… Apple’s response. Who won this one?

ad wars Samsung and Apple
#19 Blackberry vs. Apple. 

This is a classic. Apple bites back!

#20 Samsung vs. Apple. 

Apple generates a lot of hype around their product launches. They are notoriously popular with Innovators – a customer group that is constantly looking to be the first to have the next big thing. They will stand in line for hours outside of Apple stores worldwide just to be the first to get their hands on the latest Apple product. Apple seems to market their newest iPhones as the “next big thing”, but for the last few years, their iPhones have only seen incremental changes, not revolutionary ones.

Samsung’s marketers picked up on this and turned it into a parody. Their ad “The Next Big Thing” suggests that Apple’s new iPhone is over-hyped.

#21 Samsung vs. Apple… Again.

Here is another one of Samsung’s “The Next Big Thing” ads. Samsung even had the nerve to launch them during their lawsuit with Apple…

#22 Apple vs. PC… “Hi, I’m a Mac.” “… And I’m a PC.”

Even PC users loved these genius commercials! Enjoy watching all of them if you have some time to kill today.

#23 Samsung vs. Apple and Blackberry
#24 Samsung vs. Apple Parody….

By Nokia? Unexpected.

Other awesome ad wars.


#25 New Castle vs. Stella Artois

Newcastle would be the friend that asks the question that’s on everyone’s mind: “Who invited this guy to the party?”

ad wars Stella and Newcastle
#26 Genesis vs. Nintendo


ad wars Genesis and Super Nintendo
#27 FedEx vs. DHL.

This is super creative. Well done, FedEx.

ad wars Fedex and DHL
#28 Taco Bell vs. McDonald’s

There you have it!

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Meet the author.

Taro Abarbanel-Uemura

Taro Abarbanel-Uemura

Marketing Strategist

Meet Fortified Marketing’s founder and lead marketing consultant. Taro loves reading fascinating articles on various marketing-related subjects, just as much as he enjoys writing about them. When he isn’t savouring a latte while working on his newest blog post, he can be found at a coffee shop in Ottawa’s Little Italy, or marathoning shows and documentaries on Netflix.

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