By. Victoria Sobolev
When auto brands like Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, and BMW come to mind we think of pristine leather seats, unsurpassed quality, and elegance. What we rarely think of is the hilarious, sometimes petty and prevalent rivalry between these brands. When profits are at stake the creative departments go to work thinking of the best way for the brands to gain the upper hand on their luxury counterparts. Two examples of this rivalry are the Jaguar response to the Mercedes chicken commercial and the BMW Audi billboard wars in Los Angeles.
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Well in this case it was actually Mercedes “magic body control” which is a feature that provides extra stability and comfort when driving on rough roads. To demonstrate this new feature Mercedes released a commercial where chickens are moved, in a rather seductive manner, but their heads stay completely still. This was an insightful way of demonstrating a new feature without boring consumers to death. The humor and catchy soundtrack help make it memorable.
For a good laugh here is the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjlKWokWmaQ .
But Jaguar retaliated by making a parody of the chicken commercial, where the chicken gets eaten by a jaguar. The creators likely intended for this to be viewed as the brand’s assertion of dominance over its competitors. Jaguars eat chickens; ergo our brand eats your brand when it comes to quality and sales. Humor aside, the brand didn’t give any explanation for why it was better. Had jaguar put more thought into the come back and made it more clever the ad would have been a significantly more memorable and effective brand promotion.
Compared to the Audi and BMW war in LA, the Mercedes and Jaguar conflict seems like a petty playground fight.
For the images of the BMW vs. Audi billboard fight visit this link http://wonderfulengineering.com/the-historic-bmw-vs-audi-billboard-ad-war-in-pictures/.
The BMW Audi fight trumps that of Jaguar and Mercedes because it was ongoing, and many more resources were used including a blimp. Both of the brands got their fans/consumers involved in the feud by having them submit ideas for how to make the next move. The use of the chess analogy by both sides is both snarky and engages the consumer, which can lead to improved service and potential profits. Which were, after all, the driving forces behind this feud.
So while the fights are over (for now) and consumers are still driving the luxury cars of their choice, the humor of this feud still lives online for the rest of us to enjoy.