Samsung has chosen to embrace the publicity from its patent infringement lawsuits with Apple by creating a humorous teaser ad for the company’s 2013 Super Bowl marketing campaign. The ad features actors Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Bob Odenkirk, as they awkwardly attempt to avoid copying any trademarked phrases.
Under the pretense of generating ideas for Samsung’s “next big thing,” Mr. Rudd and Mr. Rogen are stymied by Mr. Odenkirk’s attorney character as they are told they cannot use, or even say, a trademarked phrase for fear of a lawsuit. While not mentioned by name, Apple’s legal victory and further ongoing litigation between the companies is clearly a major inspiration for the ad’s theme.
Throughout the litigation, Apple claimed that Samsung’s smartphones and tablets, and the company’s implementation of the Android operating system, blatantly copied Apple’s intellectual property. Conversely, Samsung claimed at various points that many of Apple’s patents were too obvious to warrant protection, that it did not copy them anyway, and that it was Apple who copied Samsung on several occasions.
Apple won the first major legal battle in August of 2012, but additional lawsuits are still underway both in the United States and internationally. Samsung’s frustration with the outcome of the case sets the backdrop of its Super Bowl teaser ad, although the NFL’s strict copyright policies likely also played a part.
The ad ends with a reluctant compromise between the actors that they refer to this Sunday’s event as “The Big Plate” featuring the “San Francisco Fifty-Minus-Oners” and the “Baltimore Blackbirds.”
The Super Bowl takes place this Sunday, February 3rd at 6:30 PM EST. Samsung is expected to use its expensive ad time to announce “the next big thing” for the company. Those interested can use the hashtag #TheNextBigThing to follow the company’s announcements on Twitter.
Samsung also used the 2012 Super Bowl to run ads critical of Apple, although many believed that Apple received even more publicity free of charge when network cameras showed nearly every player on the victorious New York Giants using iPhones to capture the post-game celebrations on the field.