I’m a firm believer in the theory that competition is good. It keeps you on your toes, it fosters creative thinking, and it can even make you go the extra mile. Competitors can also help you. If they’re local and they have more money to spend than you, you might even benefit from their advertising efforts. They spend money advertising and bring foot traffic to the neighborhood and you might get an extra sale or three.

In our world, a competitor (who we love by the way) spends a lot of money on TV and radio. This helps many people understand what email marketing is all about, then when they search online they see that they have choices. In the longrun, we ultimately see a benefit.

We had a customer who sold pet medicines. He told us that anytime PetMeds did any advertising, their sales spiked!

But what happens when you decide to go head-to-head with your competition IN your advertising? It can be pretty dangerous in my opinion.

Let’s take the example of U-verse and Xfinity. You’ve seen the Xfinity (Comcast, really) commercials. It’s a lifelike bundle of old talking wires with a funny NYer voice (do I detect a Brooklyn accent?) that has an endearing personality. And even though the funny little wireman is supposed to connote negativity, don’t you love him?

I think that Xfinity may have put too much of a focus on making the U-verse pet cooler than he should be because we all remember that funny little bundle of wires and forget about the real messaging and in some cases who the commercial really is for.

I’m curious, do you think that Xfinity is doing the right thing by building a personality around AT&T is instead of focusing on what they do best?

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