Competitive Advertising under Uncertainty:  Stochastic Differential Game Approach

Abstract:  We analyze optimal advertising spending in a duopolistic market where each firmís market share depends on its own and its competitorís advertising decisions, and is also subject to stochastic disturbances. We develop a differential game model of advertising in which the dynamic behavior is based on the Sethi stochastic advertising model and the Lanchester model of combat.  Particularly important to note is the morphing of the sales decay term in the Sethi model into decay caused by competitive advertising and noncompetitive churn that acts to equalize market shares in the absence of advertising. We derive closed-loop Nash equilibria for symmetric as well as asymmetric competitors. For all cases, explicit solutions and comparative statics are presented.