Comparative Advertising: Marketing Jujitsu, Part 2

It's an iron-clad rule of marketing: When a weaker brand attacks a stronger brand, the weaker brand wins. When a stronger brand attacks a weaker brand, the weaker brand wins.

Fast food is a perfect example, Subway used Jared Fogel and his 245-pound weight loss to establish a position as a healthy alternative to fast food burgers. When they established that point they went after McDonald's directly, with a sandwich-to-sandwich comparison of fat content. They have more than doubled sales since the campaign began, and now actually outnumber McDonald's in outlets (though not in sales).

An interesting twist on the "naming names" phenomenon is that Quizno's is now attacking Subway by name.

Quizno's is using marketing jujitsu effectively by attacking Subway's core value, low-calorie healthfulness. Quizno's compares the generous amount of meat and cheese on their sandwiches to the skimpy portions that make Subway low-fat, low calorie.

Naming names worked very effectively for Subway. It remains to be seen if it will also work effectively against them. But that "weaker always wins" rule says it will. Read more at