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Do Marketing Counterstrikes Work?

It's tempting to answer a competitor's ad campaign, but stick to what makes you unique.

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This story appears in the February 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's hard not to laugh at Apple Inc.'s "I'm a Mac" ad campaign, which pits the cool, trendy Mac guy against the conservative, nerdy PC guy.

These ads have amused everyone except Microsoft, which held its fire as Apple took light but repeated potshots at its expense. Microsoft eventually had no choice but to respond to its smaller rival. Last fall, the computer giant struck back with its "I'm a PC" campaign, featuring celebrities like actress Eva Longoria and singer Pharrell Williams.

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