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One of the interesting things about advertising is that it is effective partly in comparison to the effectiveness of your competitors’ campaigns. For instance, when tobacco companies were no longer allowed to advertise their products in the US, it was strangely immaterial. Whatever market share a certain company had at that particular time did not change all that much. It would no longer change based on its own marketing strategies or those of its rivals. Every tobacco company could now save immense amounts of money and not fall behind because they were not spending enough. Game theory posits that this was just good news for tobacco companies. Besides, the product that they sell is well known. No one today thinks that smoking is good for them so saying otherwise is not only disingenuous (and illegal), it would be ineffective. While each company would claim that they make the best product, each company makes broadly the exact same thing. No longer having to pay for advertising was therefore just a great way to save money.

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