Samsung’s Anti-iPhone 5 Video Ad is Snarky, Juvenile

| Editorial

Samsung has launched another of its infamous Apple-fanbois-in-the-waiting-line ads that poke fun at the iPhone 5 and smugly suggest that a few, isolated features of the Galaxy S III make it the best choice. However, the ad comes across as immensely juvenile.

 

The ad, shown above, puts some advertising emphasis on things that don’t make any sense to those who know a little about smartphones. Worse, it offends our sensibilities and suggests that wiseguys be allowed to sway our thinking about a major product decision. Perhaps some youngsters are moved by that approach, but most people who are ready to commit to a smartphone and contract will just find it distasteful.

As for the features, this feature mania is also seen on the print side. My list is longer than your list. Well sure, Samsung got to make the list.

In this newest video ad, the iPhone is criticized for being late with 4G LTE. But we know that Apple doesn’t introduce a feature until the user experience for all its customers is great. So if you wanted to do some bleeding, you got on the LTE bleeding edge a year ago.

As for the iPhone 5 screen size, Phil Schiller explained that in the Apple media event. Large displays need to be held in one hand and touched with the other. The iPhone display is designed so you can hold it one hand and operate with the thumb. Plus, large display smartphones require even larger cases, then they no longer even fit in your pocket.

Samsung conveniently omits the fact that a micro-USB jack can’t properly charge an iPad because of wattage limitations. Focusing on just the phone side of the equation is oh-so convenient.

Samsung smugly suggests that the iPhone appeals to codgers. However, from what we know of Apple customers, even Samsung’s own ads, the demographics don’t support that.

And last but not least (not in order of appearance), Samsung suggests that putting the headphone jack on the bottom is an idea conceived by wackos. Of course, Apple does listen to its customers, and we know already that the iPod touch is like that and well accepted. For starters, it keeps the cord from dangling over the touch screen where it’s always in the way. But YMMV. Is this really something Samsung can argue convincingly as a faux pas?

Summing it up, ads for products need to express confidence that a product is a sensible, wise choice, with a message conveyed by a professional, positive approach. Samsung’s nitpicking grasps at straws and is defensive rather than confidently taking up the offensive. It’s just sad to see.

 

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Comments

Lee Dronick

Pandering to their base smile

ctopher

It appears Apple products only appear to those that drink coffee to go.

We overpay for our phones and we overpay for our coffee smile

And hey, they are insulting people my age here! Moms and Dads PAY for these things. (At an alarming rate I might add, why do all the teenagers in my town have an iPhone and I don’t?)

I don’t think it’s that snarky, I mean, it’s not hard to make fun of someone who will wait in line for a consumer product. I especially like the guy who wants a special line because he’s stood in line for each iteration of the iPhone. Of course Samsung would not make fun of those folks if they stood in line for their products. Did anyone queue for the S III? (I’m not asking if any TMO readers did, duh!, just in general, did anyone get giddy with excitement besides the link-baiting tech press?)

wab95

If you can’t beat the product through competition, then ridicule the consumer who purchases it. Embarrass them.

As juvenile and ham-fisted as this may seem, it will and does work on a sub-population.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The real point of this commercial is for Samsung to see if they can provoke Apple fans into attacking an embassy.

mrmwebmax

+

As someone in the marketing communications field, whenever I am going to create any form of advertisement—be it a website, journal ad, brochure, whatever—I always first define the audience and the purpose: Who am I trying to reach? What am I trying to say?

This commercial puzzles me on both levels. Let’s start with audience. Who is the audience for this commercial? The general population, who might not even “get” that the commercial is parodying people who stand in line at Apple product launch events? Or the Apple users who DO stand in line at product launches?

The ad fails on both levels, just in terms of audience. Will the general population get that Samsung is comparing the G3 to the iPhone 5? Will they even pay enough attention to get it? (The ad, come on, is boring as hell.) Will Samsung convert the Apple faithful to their smartphone via an insult commercial?

Hey Samsung, ask Apple how well the Lemmings campaign did….

Then we have purpose. Samsung is obviously comparing specs of the G3 to the iPhone 5. But again, will a general audience even get this? Sure, those of us on TMO do, but we tune in every day to an Apple enthusiast site and can probably rattle off how many blocks’ worth of people were at each Apple store during every iPhone launch. Regardless, Samsung presents a selective list of features, without mentioning that the smaller-screened iPhone can be operated by one hand…a feature to many, including me. Build quality? Not mentioned.

Then there’s Samsung—ironically again—seemingly stealing a play from Apple’s old Us-vs-Microsoft playbook: mentioning that Samsung had a feature (LTE) first. Remember Windows 95 = Macintosh 1983? All that mattered to the people who snapped up Win 95 was that Windows now DID have those features, so what does it matter that Apple came first? That argument only preaches to the choir (Apple fans), as does Samsung saying they were first to LTE.

The whole commercial seems merely to be an attempt at getting Apple fans angry, while enticing neither Apple fans nor the general populace to understand what—if anything—makes the G3 special. It is a fanboi effort to the extreme, and a terrible waste of marketing dollars. Those who prefer Android will continue to prefer it, as will those who prefer iOS. This commercial, I dare say, will gain Samsung few, if any, new customers…and certainly few if any iOS to Android switchers.

Lee Dronick

Good grief Brad!

mrmwebmax

+

Brad, people died. Try having a little class and show some respect and stay on topic.

ppartekim

This kind of negative ad works for politics, so why not for phones…

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

People died because (allegedly) some people are a little oversensitive and unable to cope with any amount of criticism with any semblance of a sense of humor. I’m not so sure about the narrative, as the offended people showed up with RPGs, but whatever.

Let me tell you what the right response is to this video. It’s to laugh a little, or trade a childish barb back. Of course, they make it partly because they know you won’t. John, just like so many serious Apple fans, got hooked.

Here’s something to work with if you want to toss one back at them. But you’ve got to be careful, because it’s in a very murky politically incorrect zone. That phone touch thing had a bit of a homo-erotic sub-text to it, at least two levels above mere digital bromance. Again, you’ve got to be clever and careful with it, but there’s a goldmine in that few seconds alone.

mrmwebmax

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[qoute]That phone touch thing had a bit of a homo-erotic sub-text to it, at least two levels above mere digital bromance. Again, you’ve got to be clever and careful with it, but there’s a goldmine in that few seconds alone.

Do you even know what the F$%^ you are saying anymore? And would you quit talking about the embassy deaths and have a little respect??? This is a new low for you, Brad, and that’s reaching lows so low I’m sure you’re at the molten core by now.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If you seek to be offended, you’re going to be offended. And plenty of people will pitch in to help. It’s kinda like if you walk out in public with a string dangling between your legs. Someone’s gonna pull it.

ibuck

Dronick said: “Pandering to their base.”

Snarky and juvenile seems to cover a lot of Samsung users, some of whom like to resemble that behavior in posts to this site. Yet I’m sure there are some Samsung users who choose their phones because they are less expensive than Apple’s, or because they don’t understand (or want) Apple’s ecosystem, or because they want to seem different or rebellious.

Hagen

The headphone idea is that the folks waiting in line consider the headphone jack on the bottom to be a significant update, and the connector to be an improvement simply because it’s stylish.

The underlying theme I get is that Apple folks—especially those that line up at the store—are geeky fanboys that slavishly follow anything with an Apple logo on it. They have little self-worth outside of their choice of Apple stuff, unlike Samsung users who are more self-confident and comfortable (proud?) of their phone choice.

If Samsung wants to keep playing the Geek card (the negative kind) then they’re welcome to it.

Brian

I thought the commercial (first 30 seconds) was mildly funny, in a roast kind of way. It would be great if Apple responded to the ad in an honored/respectful way that a roast master would. Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself in a witty and jovial manner. Maybe Mr. Chaffin could provide us with some comic relief.

Samsung is clearly grasping for straws anywhere they can reach.

mrmwebmax

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f you seek to be offended, you’re going to be offended. And plenty of people will pitch in to help. It’s kinda like if you walk out in public with a string dangling between your legs. Someone’s gonna pull it.[/quote}
Brad, please inform me on how this makes your former comments on the DEATHS of Americans at the hands of TERRORISTS relevant to smartphones because I think you’re fucking full of shit. And TMO: I have been a member since 2003, and have tried to be respectful, but when someone posts shit like then he NEEDS to be told to fuck off. Period. You don’t compare 9/11 to smartphone wars. EVER. Americans are being killed over religious differences and this fucking little prick uses it as a means of touting Android over iOS??? Kick his fucking disgusting ass off of TMO, or do it to mine. There’s no place for both here.

mrmwebmax

+

PS

You’re quote system is NOT working….

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Wow dude. It’s like you can’t see through your own personal rage against me to see that we’re on exactly the same side when it comes to terrorist thugs who get a bur in their collective fanny (credit me two points, UK friends) and turn to violence. Mix in a little decaf.

People who can’t take some criticism of their silly or not-so-silly beliefs with a little good humor and a large grain of salt deserve nothing less than to be pelted with mockery. A similar lesson applies, though obviously to a near infintely lesser degree, to Apple fans who feel offended by this commercial. Damn thing was funny. Laugh about it and poke back, ferchrissakes.

mrmwebmax

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Brad, if you intended humor referring to terrorists killings on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, I ask NO FUCKING FORGIVENESS for not finding you “funny.” And I dare say that any profanity of mine pales to the obscenity of your FUCKING disrespectful comments.

My apologies to TMO moderators. I am a respectful member of this online community. But you NEVER compare 9/11 victims or other victims of terrorism to smartphone wars EVER! That is the max of misrspect for human life and needs called out accordingly.

Go to fucking hell, Brad. People are dead. Have a little respect.

mrmqwebmax

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Before anybody asks… Yes, “RonMacGuy” is a fake character I made up for TMO. We all know that and that’s what makes it funny. I have nothing to do with mrmwebmax. Nothing. Just. Wow.

For the record, I say nothing above about terrorism victims. I compared the outrage at a schlocky movie trailer to the outrage at a schlocky commercial. And I stumbled on a hornet’s nest of wanting to be offended. This would qualify as performance art if mrmwebmax hadn’t made it about victims of terrorism. Geez.

Lee Dronick

Fans wait in line for lots of things, sporting event tickets, Justian Beiber concerts, Harry Potter books. Does that mean all fans of a particular thing do it,  no of course not. Millions of new iPhones sold, but only a few thousand people queued up. Anyway, if liners get enjoyment from waiting until zero hour then that is their business and it doesn’t affect me. Live and let live.

mrmwebmax

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No, Brad, you have noting to do with me. Maybe if you made a lick of sense the two of us might be confused, but I am sure that is not a concern.

Paul Goodwin

Bosco: “The real point of this commercial is for Samsung to see if they can provoke Apple fans into attacking an embassy.”

That was hilarious !!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Paul Goodwin

And I do say that with respect. I just didn’t expect that from Brad.

John Martellaro

This has gone far enough, guys.  I’m going to start deleting offensive, obscene entries.  Please respect each other.

RonMacGuy

So I think, hey, let’s drop in on TMO for a quick little visit and what do I stumble across?  Wow.  All time low, Brad.  All time low.  And still referencing me, too?  I didn’t realize you missed me that much, Brad.

For the record, Brad did not make my character up for TMO.  He’s much too stupid to be that creative.  Obviously.  Life lesson, Bosco:  Just because you are pissed that the company you hate is continuing to succeed, and the stock you sold at $70 is now $700+, and the copycat company you love is in big trouble now, doesn’t mean you should insult fallen Americans.

Looks like you are about to lose another TMO regular or two due to Bosco, Bryan.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

iJack

Bosco is a closet 47%er.
Martellaro carries a big stick, but waves it in the wrong direction.
What a dump this place has become.

Dave Gultekin

Mr.Martellaro; dont you think your comments conflict with Apple’s long term ad campaign which compares Apple with PC ?

‘I am a MAC & I am a PC ’ ads was purely the same thing.

You may replace all the critics you did for Samsung with Apple and other company name with Microsoft and read it again.

I agree with you that what Samsung keeps doing is annoying but its a bit exaggeration to say that its ‘disrespect’

Andhaka

Nice market move to make an ad that’s insulting to potential switchers. smile

Way to go Samsung.

Cheers

Andhaka

@Dave Gultekin: Not really. The “mac vs PC” ad never implied that Pc customers were stupid or anything. They compared machines and quirks in their features and usage.

Samsung ads attack iPhone users ad being mostly clueless when not outward stupid. Very big difference there. wink

You can see that when Apple started the “genius” ad campaign it had the same problem since those ads were received very badly because the portrait of the common Apple users was that of morons with no clue as of what they were doing with their Apple devices. And Apple had to retire the campaign after only three issues. wink

Cheers

gnasher729

What are the reasons to buy a Samsung phone according to this advert?

1. You can bump your phone to someone else’s phone. (Hint: Don’t try that with my phone).

2. An actor paid by Samsung said that Samsung phones are cool. Actually, three actors. So there is a lot of reasons.

3. A friendly but not highly fashionable looking couple wants to buy a phone that is not a Samsung phone.

Very convincing. Well, actually, if _that_ advertisement makes you buy a Samsung phone, then you were a complete dolt to start with, so you probably belong to the tiny minority that confuses Samsung phones and iPhone, and end up getting an iPhone 5 anyway.

OldMorris

What is TMO waiting for? Do some house cleaning on these comments!

ctopher

I stood in line for a cheap laptop once. It was a CompUSA after hours sale and I got in line around 5PM and had the laptop by 7.

The laptop was junk. I felt a little dirty being there, but I can still hold my head high because while I was there I succumbed to an impulse to purchase a Samsung ML2010 laser printer for maybe $30? It’s been our home work horse going on it’s 3rd cartridge!

So yes, I stood in line at a store for a Samsung product.

Kevin Walsh

Come to think of it, i was using a form of NFC on my iphone way before Mr. GS3. Its and app called bump, where you bump two iphones together and you get to share contacts, videos, and pics.

wab95

John:

When will TMO restore the quote function for comments on the revised website, or is this the new ‘normal’? If the latter, may I request that the ability to quote and cite references (urls) be restored? Many thanks.

@mrmwebmax:

You comment above that the advert puzzles you as to both audience and purpose. This may be due, in my opinion, to a modest cultural disconnect between those who commissioned and designed the advert and the audience amongst whom it is now being shown. It plays like so many other adverts in the Asian region, which feature individuals publicly embarrassing themselves by not using a company’s product, or being saved from embarrassment by using said product. These run across the region from India to China, covering everything from personal grooming products to cars and insurance policies, and exploit the desire not to draw unwanted, or worse, embarrassing, attention to oneself.

The advert is addressed to both potential (non-committed) Apple clients as well as to the general public, with the clear message that:

1) The iPhone is inferior to the the Samsung Galaxy IIIS

2) Only the foolish would choose the iPhone over the Galaxy IIIS. See how embarrassing they are to be around? Don’t be like them.

This may not play as well, or have the same impact, amongst a Western audience, for whom the social pressure to avoid public embarrassment and its outcome, shame, is not the same and where individuality and standing apart from the crowd, even when this draws mixed appraisal, is often prized.

Personally, I think the adds ridiculing Apple clients is a mistake, and likely to only antagonise those who purchase Apple products. I also agree with Andhaka’s comments above, that this is not the same as the ‘get a Mac’ adverts that addressed the hardware, not the users. Attacking customers is risky and a possibly self-defeating venture, as one erodes one’s own potential customer base. Studies have shown that people like to think that they make good choices. Telling them otherwise, and worse, that they may have embarrassed themselves in the process, is poor marketing - at least in the West.

Again, I argue that Samsung’s self interest would be better served by engaging in a charm offensive, in which they highlighted the virtues of their own products, and not focus on Apple, which invites potentially negative comparisons. So be it.

Deezy

Really?  I am an Apple fan, but I found the ad intelligent and amusing.  Doesn’t mean I won’t buy an iPhone5 as soon as possible!

Hey, Samsung’s gotta sell what they got, and this is creative advertising.

mrmwebmax

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John, my apologies to you and the greater TMO community. I am better than my above comments show. Please know I am here and willing/able for reasoned debates on Apple vs. anyone. I just couldn’t last night—and never will—understand how or why the deaths of innocents should ever figure into polite conversation, and I admit I responded in a very non-polite manner.

Neither the embassy bombing nor 9/11 should ever figure into anything we discuss relative to smartphone wars, and pardon both my patriotism (Libertarian, FWIW) and respect for life for spouting obscenities. There are far better ways of expressing what I felt, and I again apologize to you and TMO for an obviously knee-jerk reaction on my part.

mrmwebmax

+

PS—As my original post shows in this thread, I was only politely trying to ask why Samsung chose to do the commercial as they did, based on sound marketing communications principles. I wanted to stay on-topic only.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

John, I also want to apologize for mrmwebmax completely distorting the metaphor. I thought I was just joking about Apple fans not being able to endure a little bit of mocking. Apparently not so in some cases.

iJack

God.  What a tool.

mrmwebmax

+

Bosco, don’t presume you speak for me. Ever. You NEVER apologize for me. YOU DON’T SPEAK FOR ME EVER!!!!! You run to the mods every time you’re little feelings are hurt yet you result to this? Please.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I don’t run to the mods. Hell, I was afraid John would delete all your wonderful posts and the archive would show me talking to myself. That would have sucked.

G

And Apple were never snarky and juvenile with their and Microsoft Ad campaign ?  Hmmm…..

Terrin

Bosco, I have to admit, the last comment was funny.

Nate

Juvenile?  These commercials are awesome.  They accurately depict how stupid Apple snobs are.  I know people who have waited in line for every version of the iphone when the one they already had was perfectly good, and I promise you these weren’t all wealthy individuals with money to waste on a phone they didn’t need.  I personally don’t care for either phone, but atleast Samsung fans aren’t obnoxious about their phones, their tablets, their laptops, their mp3 players, their desktops, etc…

bp

I am not a big fan of the Samsung ads either. They roll all iPhone users into a certain demographic which is not the case with 99% of us. 99% of us don’t wait in lines. We just truly enjoy the phones. 99% of Apple users are not snobby. It’s really an awful commercial and not a good way to bring people that are buying Apple phones over to Samsung by insulting them.

Stephen

Hi John, I still remember the “PC users are dumb” ad from Apple, or the more recently “Dumb Mac users and smart Apple Genius” ad, also courteously from Apple. Pot calling the kettle black maybe? I guess if you want to judge Samsung on the same principle, you shouldn’t spare Apple too. Just my two cents smile

John Martellaro

Stephen: Actually, the “Get a Mac” ads didn’t make fun of PC users, nor did they suggest PC users are dumb.  The ads used actors to represent computers, and the ads made fun of the PC, not its users.

See, for example,

http://www.macobserver.com/columns/hiddendimensions/2006/20060515.shtml

Henry Mohan

From all the comments from the Apple fans it seems that Samsung had got the effect that they wanted from their ad.

Abraham

“Apple doesn’t introduce a feature until the user experience for all its customers is great. “

Um remember last time? Siri was not ready for prime time when unleashed on the public. Remember last week? People were screaming to get their google maps back.

There is no question that the iPhone is the device that every Android aspires to be and in so many ways even the best has a ways to go to catch up. However, the iPhone needs to keep its competitive edge or it will lose in the end.

Sure there will be the faithful who buy to the Apple myth. However, throwing out mantras like this quote which can easily be debunked, only serves to help insure that one day the emperors clothes will be obvious for all to see.

tad

How insecure do you have to be to get so bent out of shape over an ad??
Pepsi marketed itself as the cola for the younger generation and it worked. I wonder if Coca-Cola drinkers were similarly incensed and referred to studies of the popularity of colas among different age groups before threatening to never drink Pepsi again.
I doubt it.

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