When Is It Okay To Attack Your Competition?

I'm sitting in front of the Apple store in our mall stealing their wifi on my iPhone. As I'm sitting here I'm thinking about their PC vs. Mac commercials and how successful they've been despite the fact they're talking negatively about their competition and about their potential customer.

In these commercials, Apple is portrayed as the cool guy that runs well, plays nice with all the toys, and is who you want to be like. The PC is portrayed by an overweight guy with unfashionable clothing and glasses with a bumbling fool type personality.


In traditional sales you're taught to never say bad things about the competition. When you do you elicit negative feelings from the prospect which become attached to you and your product, killing the sale. It also will often come across as a desperate attempt to win the sale. Basically, attacking the competition is bad so don't do it.

Apple appears to have pulled this off well and is making great strides into the personal computer market.

So, when is it okay to attack your competition? Is it okay?

What makes the Apple ads successful, even though they're insulting the competition and potential buyer, while others fail miserably when trying?

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