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For these brands, mocking the competition is a winning strategy

A good rivalry can produce some brilliant ads

In the great debate over whether companies are people, here’s one factor that isn’t discussed: humour. The rise of social media “brandter” (when two corporate accounts joust textually in the hope that their followers will engage) almost makes it seem like some corporations are capable of funniness—albeit of the dad-joke variety.

The latest buzzy comic foray comes courtesy of Samsung’s gently-mocking response to the launch of the Apple Watch and iPhone 6. Apple’s chief mobile rival released a whole series of ads poking fun at the “exciting” “new” features of the devices, pointing out that many are already staples of Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones and wearables:

In honour of this latest bit of inter-brand lampooning, here are a few other mocking ads that hit home.

Experience the power of a bookbook™

Lampooner: IKEA | Lampooneé: Apple

The iEverything maker is a popular target of mockery. IKEA took aim at Apple’s habit of grandiose launch announcements and reverent product spots with this ad featuring the Swedish furniture firm’s new product catalogue. Meet the Bookbook:

READ: Apple iWatch? That’s a really dumb iDea »

Ronald McDonald likes my burgers

Lampooner: Jack in the Box | Lampooneé: McDonalds

American fast-food chain Jack in the Box is known for its irreverent advertising style. A series of 2002 commercials had the company receiving endorsements from real people with the same name as the mascots of giant competitors like McDonalds:

READ: McDonalds is in trouble. Meet the Canadians leading its McComeback »

Two Cokes make a Pepsi

Lampooner: Pepsi | Lampooneé: Coke

The fight for global pop dominance has raged back and forth for decades. This commercial was never publicly released, but has found a second life on the Internet:

READ: Today’s offensive ads aren’t full of sex, but rather disingenuous schmaltz »

President of the Beers

Lampooner: Miller | Lampooneé: Anheuser-Busch

Budweiser has been “The King of the Beers” since the late 1800s, but rival Miller showed its republican streak with a 2004 ad that had an anthropomorphized Miller Lite campaigning to be “President of the Beers” against a horse, representing Bud. Bonus: a pre-Breaking Bad Bob Odenkirk:

READ: Small farmers partner with Big Beer »

Get a Mac 

Lampooner: Apple | Lampooneé: Microsoft

Apple may be a giant mockvertising target now, but back in the day it was the cool kid taking shots at the establishment. The company’s Get a Mac campaign, starring Justin Long as their own, hip product and former Daily Show funnyman John Hodgman as a PC, was a critical darling. Here’s the campaign, in its entirety (warning: it’s 37 minutes long):

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