When I read this paragraph, I immediately thought of the ongoing advertising battle between the Pepsi and Coca-Cola soft drinks. Appropriately named the "Cola Wars", both brands have engaged in a campaign of television advertisements and marketing campaigns that target the other.
These fizzy, dark, sugary drinks are both extremely similar in taste and appearance, making them parity products that have no major differences between either of the two brands. Thus, the firms in those markets must spend more money of advertising to convince the public that they are in fact different. Annually, both brands spend billions of dollars on advertising around the globe.
While Coca-Cola does not seem to directly attack Pepsi as obviously in their advertisements, the battle between the two brands of soda is well-known and continuously ongoing. Despite their differences, both soft drinks have become increasingly dependent on advertising to secure "brand loyalty" in order to sell their products (Stole 88). Consumer brand loyalty is especially illustrated through social media like Facebook page likes and comments. For example, Coca-Cola's Facebook page has 51 million likes versus Pepsi's 9 million likes.
Despite these Facebook numbers, both companies have spend enormous amounts of time and money to conquer one of the toughest advertising strategies in Stole's chapter: creating a belief that their products are different despite being inherently equal.