Battle of the Brands: 27+ Times Big Companies Savagely Threw Shade


| LAST UPDATE 07/28/2021

By Scarlett Adler

Sure, we already know that Verizon & AT&T, or Chick-Fil-A & Popeyes might not be the best of friends; But just how deep do their feuds go? From sibling rivalries to diss tracks, brace yourself, these burns are all-too-real real.

Pepsi vs. Coke

It's the one question that may never go answered - depending on who you ask, that is: Coke or Pepsi? That's right, we obviously had to start this off with the feud that's been haunting us, well, forever. But where did it start?

Poombah via Imgur

The Cola Wars. Yep, back in the 80s, as two pharmacists' sugar-drinks hit the market, they'd hash it out in campaigns like 'The Pepsi Challenge,' a blind taste-test. The winner? Pepsi; You didn't hear it from us, though.

H&M vs. Forever 21

We've all been there: You're in Forever 21, zoning in on a cotton tee that's caught your eye from across the store, when finally, you flip it over to find a 'life-quote' or witty phrase sprawled across the front in massive letters. Not that we're judging, I mean, don't we all still have a few of them lying around in our closets?

H&M, Forever 21, BrandsH&M, Forever 21, Brands
Pinterest via Mercyhurst University Fashion Department / Pinterest via Fashion Blawger_Blogger of A Preponderance of Fashion law blog

But back in '15, the brand and their original products were met with a massive lawsuit - one that, honestly? We never saw coming. It all started with a tote that soon hit XXI's racks, one with "Beach please" plastered on the front. The only problem? H&M had actually thought of the idea first, firing back with a copyright infringement.

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Puma vs. Dolce & Gabbana

Meet Puma and Dolce & Gabbana, folks. Otherwise known as two fashion brands we never thought we'd ever see as... competitors. Lucky for us, 2018 was clearly a year full of surprises, and it resulted in one heck of a lawsuit. We've got a feeling Puma might just never live this one down.

Puma, Dolce & Gabbana, BrandsPuma, Dolce & Gabbana, Brands / Instagram via @bathildescloset

What happened? After Dolce & Gabbana revealed their latest drop, mink-fur lined slippers, they were hit with a fat lawsuit from Puma. Why? According to them, the luxury brand had ripped off their collection with Rihanna. The best part? Where the lawsuit was filed, only three slippers were sold - two of which, by test buyers for Puma.

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Car-Freshener vs. Balenciaga

Remember those little Christmas trees you had (or maybe, have) dangling in your car? You know, the ones that somehow always end up leaving your car smelling like you've just drowned it in pine? But no, we're not here to talk about its distinct smell; We're actually here to talk about its looks - and the ironic lawsuit it called for.

Little Tree, Balenciaga, BrandsLittle Tree, Balenciaga, Brands
Motor1 via Zach Doell/Antonioli via High Snobiety

You see, for a couple of bucks, you can pick up a pack of the scented trees at your local CVS; But if you want Balenciaga's name on it? It'll cost ya $275. That's right, back in 2018, the air freshener company made headlines as they accused the luxury fashion brand of stealing their look with their latest keychains. Oh, the irony.

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Chevy vs. Ford

The battle between Chevy and Ford is a tale as old as time, dating all the way back to the early 1900s, when Henry Ford, William Durant, and famous racecar driver Louis Chevrolet embarked on a heated race that still has yet to reach the finish line. But flash forward to 1966, and their famous feud would officially reach a new level.

Camaro, Mustang, BrandsCamaro, Mustang, Brands
Instagram via @camarosociety via @shockzle _ /@fordmustangclub_ via @californiaexoticsdaily

What happened? General Motors had just unveiled their latest model yet: The Chevy Camaro. But everything took an unexpected turn the moment journalists asked Chevrolet's manager, Pete Estes, the inspiration behind their latest car's name. His answer? "It's a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs."

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Puma vs. Adidas

You thought your fights with your younger (or older) siblings were bad growing up? When you hear the story of how Puma and Adidas first came to be, something tells us that sweater your sister stole from your closet won't matter as much anymore. We'll let you be the judge of that one, though.

Puma, Adidas, BrandsPuma, Adidas, Brands
Instagram via @puma /@adidas

It all started in 1924 when brothers Adolf and Rudolf founded Adidas together. Safe to say, their family partnership didn't last long: By 1948, after a major falling out with Adi, Rudi set off for some sweet revenge; Which soon came in the form of... Puma. Yep, keep that in mind next time you reach for your favorite pair of runners.

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Subaru vs. Bentley

But the story doesn't end there. Sure, we may have watched BMW get a visit from our friend Karma, but we weren't the only ones amused by the rivals and their latest digs. Let this next exchange be a warning to all that if you're going to dish it out, you'd better be able to take it.

Subaru vs Bentley Subaru vs Bentley
Heritage Images / Contributor/ via Getty Images / @bentleymotors via Instagram

"Well done to Audi and BMW for winning the beauty contest, from the winner of the 2006 International Engine of the Year," Subaru chimed in shortly after; But they weren't the only ones with something to say. "Congratulations to Audi, BMW... and that blue car for doing so well," Bentley added. Ouch.

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Axe vs. Old Spice

Make no mistake about it, these feuding deodorant lines might brag about their clean scents, but they've got no problem playing dirty. Not that we're judging; I mean, we can't get enough of the Old Spice Guy right? (You know, the man your man could smell like.) But something tells us he won't be too happy about Axe's little shout out.

Axe, Old Spice, BrandsAxe, Old Spice, Brands
Reddit via u/jpk01 / Screenshot via Youtube via Old Spice

That's right, if by some chance you already forgot about the Old Spice Guy's famous sidekick, otherwise known as a white Stallion, don't worry, Axe will be happy to remind you: "For men who'd rather be with a woman than on a horse," their Canadian Billboard read, back in 2010.

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Sprint vs. Verizon

"Can you hear me now?" They're the five simple words anybody with a television set knows all too well; But how about the time Verizon's rival stole their famous catchphrase - and the middle-aged man that came with it? Sorry, Cingular, but it looks like Sprint has officially just raised the bar.

Verizon vs Sprint Verizon vs Sprint
Screenshot via Youtube via Sprint/ Screenshot via Verizon Wireless via Youtube

You see, from 2002 to 2011, our screens were dominated by Paul Marcarelli, the Test Man, who was always there to remind us just how "reliable" Verizon truly was; Well, that was until the day we saw his face pop up in the latest Sprint commercial - and you can bet that was no mistake. "I'm with Sprint now," the star shamelessly gushed.

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Cheetos vs. Doritos

Picture this: You're at the store, making your way down the snack aisle when you finally reach for your go-to bag of chips; Which one's in your hand, Cheetos or Doritos? It's the debate that might just give Coke and Pepsi a run for their money, but back in 2019, it also called for a fiery diss track that even came for one rapper.

Cheetos vs. DoritosCheetos vs. Doritos
Screenshot via Chance the Rapper x Backstreet Boys - Super Bowl Commercial via Youtube/ Instagram via @cheetos

It all went down during the Super Bowl, as the game went to a commercial break. Fans were surprisingly met by Chester Cheetah, as the Cheetos mascot began to weigh in on Dorito's latest drop: Flamin' Hot Nachos, endorsed by Chance the Rapper: "You got celebs and a remix song, but like a bag of Cheetos? You won't last long." Burn.

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Nike vs. Adidas

Unfortunately for Rudolf, sibling rivalry would soon be the least of his worries; Well, that is, if you ask Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman who soon came for his rival in the form of one ironic history lesson. That's right, folks, we'll give you a second to grab that History textbook while we break down this legendary feud for you.

Nike, Adidas, BrandsNike, Adidas, Brands
Edward Berthelot/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Back in the 70s, while Nike was just getting its foot on the ground (see what we did there?), they named their very first sneaker "The Aztec;" That was, until it got shut down by Adidas, who'd already used that name. So, what'd Bill do? Renamed it 'The Cortez," a.k.a "That guy who kicked the (cr*p) out of the Aztecs," as he put it.

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Mercedes vs. Jaguar

What do farm animals and Mercedes-Benz have in common? To the naked eye, um, not much. But back in 2013, the luxury car brand took to our screens to answer that very question for us, only little did they know it'd soon backfire; We're sure Darwin would be pleased with this next exchange. What happened?

Mercedes vs. JaguarMercedes vs. Jaguar
NurPhoto / Contributor / Nathan Stirk / Contributor via Getty Images

With the help of a chicken, Mercedes took to our screens to answer the question above: Stability at all times. Only shortly after, we watched survival of the fittest run its course, as Jaguar blessed us with their very own 'Jaguar vs. Chicken' ad, which, um, didn't end well for the chicken. Their message? "We prefer cat-like reflexes."

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Microsoft vs. Apple/BlackBerry

Remember when the word "BlackBerry" was actually used to refer to the phone we weren't caught dead without? Safe to say, a lot has changed since then. But while the 2000s phone might be a thing of the past, do you know who'll be happy to honor its memory? Microsoft, of course - with the help of caskets and hearses.

Microsoft vs. Apple/BlackBerryMicrosoft vs. Apple/BlackBerry
Twitter via @beebomco

Yep, you read that right. Back in 2010, while the company celebrated their upcoming Windows Phone 7 launch, they also celebrated another thing: The 'death' of their rivals, the iPhone and BlackBerry, in the form of a mock funeral. Their eulogy? "Windows will bury the competition."

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Samsung vs. Apple

We've all been there: Rumors begin to swirl that the latest iPhone is set to hit the market any day now, and obviously, you run to Google to see what the hype is all about for yourself - bigger screen? new camera? But that's exactly what made Samsung's prank so legendary.

Samsung vs. Apple Samsung vs. Apple
Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images / Jon_Reed/ Reddit screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

What'd they do? Back in '15, as rumors of the iPhone 6S began to dominate the internet, so did Samsung's marketing team, who took out an ad on Google for every time any of us looked up Apple's latest release: "Awkward, you obviously mean 'S6' –," the message, perched at the very top of the search, of course, read. Touché.

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DHL vs. UPS/Competitors

When it comes to shipping company DHL, all it took was a piece of cardboard and some permanent marker to land them a slot in the pranking Hall-of-Fame. Then again, if you ask them, they had nothing to do with the dirty deed - though they're "Not angry about it," as they teased to Gizmodo. So, what went down exactly?

DHL Prank DHL Prank
Screenshot: DHL is Faster Prank via JvMNecjar via Youtube

It was a typical day in 2014, as UPS delivery men took to the streets to deliver their latest orders: Large black boxes with confusing delivery addresses. Little did they know, from the minute their packages left their trucks, temperature-activated ink began to emerge on the cardboard in hand. What did it read? "DHL is faster." Ouch!

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Burger King vs. McDonald's

Sure, we're not gonna tell you how to eat your burger; I mean, maybe you prefer a fluffier bun; Or maybe, you just like your pickles cut a certain way; But what we will tell you, is that The King's prank on poor Ronald McDonald, back in 2017, haunted us for weeks on end. Seriously, you might be sleeping with the lights on tonight.

Twitter via @MullenLoweGroup #scaryclownnight

What happened? Let's just say there was a whole lot of tricking (and treating, of course) come Halloween night. "Come like a clown to eat like a king," Renato Rossi, B.K's global marketing head, teased, as the chain lured folks in dressed as their rival's mascot with the payment of free Whoppers. We see what you did there, Renato.

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Chick-Fil-A vs. Popeyes

Remember that time people near and far were going crazy over some fried chicken? You know, back when Popeyes revealed the launch of their infamous 'chicken sandwich,' resulting in nationwide traffic jams, packed Popeyes stores, and lines reaching up to almost an hour? Yep, 2019 was weird. Not that we're judging; But do you know who is?

Chick-Fil-A vs. PopeyesChick-Fil-A vs. Popeyes
Irene Jiang via Business Insuder / @ChickFilA/ @PopeyesChicken via Instagram

Their rival, of course. "Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all love for the original," Chick-Fil-A tweeted, as they reminded customers that they were the first in the game. How did Popeyes react? "… Y'all good?" their official account fired back, resulting in a heated war that left the online world divided. On that note, which team are you?

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Nestlé vs. Cadbury

When you think of your favorite chocolate, what comes to mind? Maybe it's a chocolate cup, filled with gooey peanut butter and wrapped in neon orange plastic; Or maybe, it's a crunchy wafer, that you can't wait to break a piece off of. But if you ask Cadbury? It's actually a specific color that'll have you coming back for more.

Nestlé vs. CadburyNestlé vs. Cadbury
Shutterstock via TK Kurikawa

Of course, we're talking about the brand's signature shade - a purple Pantone 2685C, that each of their delicious candies is perfectly wrapped in. But back in the day, their rival, Nestlé, embarked on a years-long battle to challenge the trademark on their purple packaging. Yep, the two actually went to war over the color purple.

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Pantene vs. Dove

For all of our mystery lovers out there, we've got a good story for you; In fact, this one's even got a plot-twist that you'll never see coming. Then again, does anything really surprise us anymore? Sorry, Pantene, but it looks like this dirty deed might cost you. So, what happened?

Pantene vs. DovePantene vs. Dove
Twitter via @madovermarketing

"A Mystery Shampoo!!" Pantene's latest ad read, back in 2010, as they teased customers of a 'mystery' brand's upcoming launch. Cute, huh? Little did they know, Dove was already one step ahead of them. "There is no mystery. Dove is the No.1 shampoo," Pantene's rival fired back, plastering ads before the 'mystery' brand's big reveal.

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Oreo vs. Kit-Kat

Who doesn't love Oreos? And who doesn't love Kit-Kats? If only the two sweet treats could live in harmony; But back in 2013, one random girl's innocent tweet led the snack rivals into a vicious feud, and it was just as hilarious as you expected. Yep, go grab the popcorn while we break down this sweet little exchange for you.

Kit Kat, Oreo, BrandsKit Kat, Oreo, Brands
Twitter via @kitkat/@oreo

"Can tell I like chocolate a bit too much when I'm following @kitkat and @oreo," candy connoisseur, @Laura_ellenxx joked. Little did she know the can of worms sugar she'd just opened: "The fight for [Laura's] affections is on @oreo," KitKat chimed in, alongside a snap of a Tic-Tac-Toe board. Oreo's response? Well, the crumbs say it all.

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Ben & Jerry’s vs. Häagen-Dazs/Pillsbury

Believe it or not, folks, there was once a time when Half Baked and Phish Food weren't busy calling out our names in the freezer aisle (just us?). Back in the 80s, while Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield were struggling to make their ice-cream big, they were hit with a feud that shook them to their very core. Hang on - we've got the scoop.

Ben & Jerry’s vs. Häagen-Dazs/PillsburyBen & Jerry’s vs. Häagen-Dazs/Pillsbury
Twitter via @ashgib

Back in 1984, the ice-cream aficionados were shocked to learn that Häagen-Dazs (then-owned by Pillsbury) was going around trying to keep their sweet treats off shelves; Their revenge? "What's the Doughboy Afraid Of?" they began printing on their pints, along with an 800 number for 'the Doughboy Hotline' where callers could learn more.

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BMW vs. Audi

For most of us, the sound of landing a "Car of the Year" award sounds pretty impressive, huh? Well, not when you're BMW, that is. At least that's how they felt, back in 2006, when they saw Audi's "South African Car of the Year Award" as a chance to fire shots. Safe to say, they may have backfired.

BMW, Audi, BrandsBMW, Audi, Brands
Pinterest via Yuriy Gordiychuk/ Instagram via @audi via @chiokizone

"Congratulations to Audi for winning the South African Car of the Year Award," the company began... "From the winner of the World Car of the Year." Real clever, BMW; How did Audi respond? "Congratulations to BMW for winning the World Car of the Year... from the winner of six consecutive Le Mans 24 Hour Races."

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Britain vs. Romania

Who said brand rivalries only had to do with cotton tees or colored chocolate bars? That's right, our next famous feud is taking us all the way around the globe, where, back in 2013, Romania and Britain hashed it out to put their names on the map, literally. What happened exactly?

London, Romania, BrandsLondon, Romania, Brands
Sylvain Sonnet via Getty Images / Pinterest via Mary

"You won't like it here," Britain jokingly teased, in an effort to prevent overpopulation in their crowded cities. How did Romania react? Their very own campaign: "We may not like Britain, but you'll love Romania," they joked, inviting us on over to grab a "Draft beer - less expensive than [Britain's] bottled water," by the way.

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Ferrari vs. Lamborghini

It's pretty safe to say you wouldn't think twice if someone offered you a Ferrari. But back in the day, one customer was actually so dissatisfied, he fired back by starting his very own rival luxury-car company. Are you seeing where we're heading with this? Folks, welcome to the story of how Lamborghini first came to be.

Ferrari, Lamborghini, BrandsFerrari, Lamborghini, Brands
Evening Standard via Getty Images/Wolfgang Kuhn/United Archives via Getty Images

Back in 1958, tractor manufacture Ferruccio Lamborghini couldn't stop gushing about his latest purchase: A sleek white Ferrari; That was, until he confronted Enzo Ferrari about a few complaints. His reply? "You're a tractor driver," as Car and Driver reported. So, what'd he do? "I'll show you!" he warned, and the rest is now history.

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Campbells vs. Progresso

We should warn you, the next batch of tea we're about to spill actually comes in the form of instant soup, and you can bet it's piping hot. For decades now, these guys have been duking it out in their very own Soup Wars, as they fight for the #1 spot; But back in 2001, their feud made its way to our screens for their latest match.

Campbell's, Progresso, BrandsCampbell's, Progresso, Brands
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images/ Instagram via @blockbusterbend

"That was fine when we wore snowsuits. We're adults now," Progresso's commercial teased, as an actor was seen putting down a can of Campbell's. How did their rival react? Fast forward to 2002, and the soup brand finally hit back: "Wanna taste the [real] winner?" an actress told viewers, as she enjoyed a can of Campbell's.

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Netflix vs. Blockbuster

Last but not least, we're going to take you back to simpler times; Back when your biggest concern was hiding the remote from your older brother. But while we couldn't get enough of those Saturday nights, hijacked by trips to Blockbuster - and lots of Ring Pops, of course - did you ever wonder how our favorite video store just vanished?

Reed Hastings, Blockbuster, BrandsReed Hastings, Blockbuster, Brands
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images / Instagram via @blockbusterbend

For starters, it was actually a long time coming. But back in the day, while Blockbuster CEO John Antioco was navigating his way through the competition, Netflix co-founder, Reed Hastings was too, when he joked that Antioco was throwing everything at him but the kitchen sink. The next day, what'd he receive in the mail? A sink, of course.

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Geico vs. Esurance

We all know the green gecko all too well by now. In fact, from the moment that little guy appears, you already know it's only a matter of time before he reminds you just how much you could be saving in 15 minutes (*hint, it's 15% or more*); But that's what makes Esurance's latest campaign as legendary as it is.

Geico, Esurance, BrandsGeico, Esurance, Brands
Instagram via @thegeicogecko/Pinterest via James Allen

How did they put it? "15 minutes for a quote? That isn't how it works anymore," the auto-insurance rival mocked. Yep, Geico might be so easy, a Caveman can do it, but if you ask them? Well, are there even any cavemen? "Welcome to the modern world," Esurance continued, as they flaunted their latest promise, only 7.5 minutes to save big.

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Google vs. Microsoft

Back in 2013, when Google launched the latest Chrome ad, titled, "Now everywhere," they were sure their rivals could never compete; And, well, they were right; Little did they know, though, that's because Microsoft didn't, um, exactly want to. Yep, next time you're ahead of the game? Maybe that's because your opponents put you there.

Google, Microsoft, BrandsGoogle, Microsoft, Brands
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images/

"Don't get scroogled," Microsoft warned, in response to Chrome's ad. What exactly did they mean? If you ask them, sure, Google was right: They were everywhere, but was that really a good thing? "Keep calm while we steal your data," Google's rivals mocked, as they dropped a line of merch with anti-Gooogle slogans.

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Bud Lite vs. Modist Brewing

First, we had Cola Wars; then we had Color Wars, and now? It looks like the Beer Wars have officially begun, and you can bet they've called for a very sticky situation. That's right, go ahead and crack a cold one while we break down 2018's legendary feud and the hilarious paperwork it soon called for.

Bud Light, Modist Brewing, BrandsBud Light, Modist Brewing, Brands
Twitter via @growlermag/ Instagram via @modistbrewing

It all started when rival brewery, Modist Brewing, began creeping in on Bud Light's trademarked catchphrase: 'Dilly, dilly.' Yep, for those of you as confused as we were, those words - meaning, 'Cheers!' - first made it big in the brand's medieval themed-ads. So, what'd they do? Sent a Cease-and-Desist - in the form of an ancient scroll.

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