Chick-fil-A vs. Moe’s Original Bar B Que: “Going Negative”

This is probably my favorite marketing concept to study, teach, and implement with clients — taking the political principle of “going negative” and utilizing it in business marketing.

Of course, I’m not talking about whacking your business competitors over the head like a negative political ad.

Instead, I encourage businesses owners to use comparative ad strategies and tactics that will offend no one (think: customers/clients) and grow your business.

While I believe it should be a business strategy, I want to highlight the EPIC nine-round slugfest between two competing businesses that used “going negative” tactically and collaboratively to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in free advertising.

Entering the ring? Chick-fil-A and Moe’s Original Bar B Que.

If you haven’t already heard about this hilarious battle between two neighboring fast food chains, click here to read how they rolled with the punches — and even dragged a local strip club into their melee.

This story is so frickin’ brilliant!

So, why don’t more business owners use the same type of friendly comparative ad strategies and tactics? I believe their marketing agencies convince them to not “rock-the-boat” so the agency doesn’t have to think outside-the-box.

What a shame!

Here are 4 easy takeaways that you can learn from this story:

  1. Comparative ads work. In politics, if I run a negative ad and my opponent doesn’t respond, we win. Every single time. Why? It works.
  2. There is no downside if you make it fun/funny. And if you can collaborate with your competition (like the story above), it can create hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in free POSITIVE publicity for your business.
  3. Some of the most successful companies in the world, like Pepsi, Apple, T-Mobile and Wendy’s have utilized a comparative ad/marketing strategy to massive success. Most importantly, with all of the companies I just mentioned, this comparative ad strategy did not offend customers. Even better? Their competition’s response was disorganized, clumsy and all lost market share. Win. Win. Win.
  4. If you are curious about how this can work for you — I write an entire chapter on how “Going Negative” can be implemented by any business in FIRE THEM NOW.

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