Samsung’s Latest Anti-Apple Ad is Deceptive but Really Good

| Editorial

The role of a good video/TV ad is to develop a voice and a brand, catch people's attention, amuse them and perhaps even tell a compelling story. Samsung's latest anti-Apple does that. What's missing? Pretty much the truth.

Samsung's latest entry into its line of maddeningly charming and goofy anti-Apple ads is called "Wall Huggers." It tells the story about how Apple customers are greatly tied to wall electrical outlets, no matter where they go.

The cute angle is that Apple customers are like gargoyles, crouched uncomfortably in airport concourses, with lots of annoying cords and power adapters,  deprived of joyful social gatherings with colleagues. There is a sense that by being so tied to the wall, in their desperate communications, the users are somehow impoverished in technology and spirit.

And that's what makes the ad both so charming and irritating.


Just The Facts Please

Of course, in reality, things are not as the Samsung ad portrays. Apple customers as a whole seldom have frequent, desperate moments. There is typically a sizing up of the iPhone's capabilities over the months and an adjustment to its battery is made. For frequent business travelers, with great needs, they either carry an extra battery pack or use a case with a built-in battery.

Jeff Gamet, TMO's managing editor, travels frequently, and reports that when people are looking for electrical power in airports, their needs span all types of devices and all brands. No one company is immune, but that's the subtle conceit in this ad anyway.

But never mind that. The art of a good ad is to pull a technology theme out of the air that seems plausible. Everyone who has had a low battery on a device, from time to time, can certainly sympathize. The Samsung ad looks like it might have an element of truth to it. Add a little good-natured poking at Apple, suggesting that all Apple customers have this problem all the time, and you have the makings of an effective video ad.

What was especially creative was showing a guy in the airport bathroom, plugged into the wall outlet. The next thing he does, we might imagine, is fumble his iPhone into the urinal. The images just keep coming, and you can make up your own jokes and play along.

Of course, the ad has no fundamental relationship to the daily lives of Apple customers. But it's inventive and, most of all, effective. Apple is such a buttoned-down company that, for many, it's fun to see a competitor having some fun at Apple's expense.

This ad, in particular, must have Apple executives fuming. It showcases all the things that Apple celebrates for its own customers: imagination, creativity, visualization, humor and story telling.

But then, after all, it's fiction.

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I’ve been ready for a phone that stays the same size but gets a bigger battery for awhile now…design the phone to be super slim, and then thicken it back up and add battery into all that extra space. Or give us the option. Maybe nobody else would want the 2-day iPhone, but I would like it.

Peter Kelly 1

And of course no mention of all the third-party battery packs you can get to charge your iPhone’s internal battery if you run low.


I have seen some people, including the author, describe the article as humorous. Being an Apple owner and avid fan, this ad wreaks of desperation on the part of Samsung, and hits below the belt with insults and social innuendoes that I find offensive.

In my travels, and even at work, it’s the Android users who always clamour around wall outlets, or asking to bum a charger off you. It’s the iPhone, Windows Phone, and Blackberry users who usually have no battery issues. And when we do have them, that’s where portable battery packs and cases come into play, which allow us to continue being on the go, and not having to shutdown and disassemble our devices just to get a fresh charge, pathetic.

This ad is nothing short of blatantly false advertising, and I sincerely hope Apple takes Samsung to task and have them pull it down.


So, which company has placed “charging stations” in most of the airports?  You know the ones with the company’s name emblazoned across the top in big blue letters?  Does this mean that they’re ready to pull all the charging stations out since their own customers don’t need them anymore grin

Seriously, no matter how much battery capacity you cram into a mobile device, a certain percentage of users will run out on the road and will be looking for a charging fix.  Having too large of a battery in your device could actually make you more susceptible to running out on the road because you might not be as religious about charging the device nightly, so you may hit the road with an only partially charged device.

As for me, I travel with both an iPhone and an iPad mini, not because I don’t trust the iPhone battery, but because I’d rather play games and watch content on the larger screen of the iPad mini (with a much bigger screen and larger battery capacity than that of a Samsung Galaxy s5).  On the road I use my phone for calls, texting and looking at the status of my next flight and the iPad for just about everything else.  I suppose if I could make/receive phone calls from my iPad I might be tempted to forgo the iPhone, but then I’d be fumbling around with a “phablet” every time I wanted to make a call/send a text.

I also have a bluetooth stereo headset (Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 with charging case) so I can listen to iTunes on my iPad mini without even having to take the iPad out of my bag.  The choice of the Backbeat Go 2 was based on its small size/weight.  Other bluetooth headsets have longer play times due to larger batteries, but the Backbeat Go 2 is so small and light I basically just travel with it draped across the back of my neck and put it into my ears when I want to use it..  The charging case for the headset (which mostly resides in my carry-on) even allows me to charge the headset (multiple times) without having to find a (Samsung) charging station….

So Samsung, I’m glad you are concerned enough about your competitors customers to provide them with charging stations, but I for one don’t need them.  Also, I understand there are people who would rather just carry one device that is bigger than an (i)Phone but smaller than an (i)Pad mini.  I prefer to carry two devices where each device is optimized for the tasks I ask each to perform, not some compromise device that tries to do everything (but isn’t optimal for anything).


I really don’t understand how I can have days worth of battery life out of my iPhone? I’ve got Bluetooth off and app auto-update on manual, but still… Do I have a defective unit or something??

Lee Dronick

LeFrancoy, check to see if push notifications are off, fetch also turn off location services for applications that don’t really need your location. Check email manually, unless of course you need push turned on.

The battery in my iPhone 4S doesn’t last as long as it once did, that is natural. I decided to not get the battery replaced, but to buy an external battery pack. I only take the external battery when traveling and such.


I think they nailed it. I saw THREE people at the Red Line underground subway here in L.A. today hunched over charging their iPhones.  My buddy’s Nexus shows battery life in Days, not just hours.

Lee Dronick

Well of course iPhones need to be charged more often, they are used more often than the other brand phones.


Of course Samsung is not telling the truth. That’s not the company way.

Paul Goodwin

Meanwhile, the slower plastic phone with the terrible speaker and audio is outsold by the real deal, the 5S (also by the 5c in the UK). And I’ve seen side-by-side photos, and the 5S photos, similar clarity, but better color on the iPhone. Since nobody can have a good browsing experience on either sized device, and given the superior OS, and software of the iPhone, just buy the iPhone. It’s a better phone, with a great camera, and a much better hardware design.


“Apple is such a buttoned-down company that, for many, its fun to see a competitor having some fun at Apple’s expense.”

Took the words right out of my mouth. Many people want to see the ‘big guy’ fall (or at least stumble from time to time) for the entertainment value alone. While I find this silly, I suppose their short-lived satisfaction in what they desperately want to believe is a failure on behalf on Apple causes no real harm.


The nature of an advertisement is to LIE and exaggerate, or does any knucklehead here think the Flexible Pocket Hose does ANYTHING like the ad says it does?.  Duh. But besides that, is it a lie that iPhones have less battery life compared to Samsung’s?  Maybe not. Samsung and Moto cram more powerful batteries in their phones and Android uses a “smart” system management of the juice so the impression may be that Android devices need to be charged less - but it’s not that simple.


Yet again, Samsung looking pathetic as they continue to reference Apple in their ads.


As someone with an 18 month old iPhone 5 that started shutting down at 50% battery while I was travelling (good thing for USB plugs in cars), I am seriously entertaining other phone options at this time.


@rpaege   Have you taken your phone into an Apple store to have a genius look at it? Sometimes a software adjustment can clear up the problem. Or Apple may offer a replacement at a low cost. Apple replaced a nearly 3 year-old iPod Touch that I had button problems with for $80 or so.

Alex Santos

Great ad but only so slightly exaggerated. Good ad but overstated.

I will say this, the most shocking part of the ad was the tail end, “The Next Big Thing is Here”. That is what hit my nerve.

Really Apple, couldn’t you have come out with a larger iPhone years ago? I think Apple has been sitting on its laurels on this one. A large iPhone should have been maturing for 2 years now.

Sadly, Apple has some catching up to do with size and battery performance but their underlying software is profoundly good as is the customer experience.

I will say this, I am not completely impressed by the battery performance on the 5S and heat issues is one more variable Apple should work on. Heat as you know is the enemy of electronics and especially batteries.

Good article, but suggestions of battery augmentation through add-ons is defeatist in a way but I understand. I would have preferred to have seen suggestions on how to improve battery life through other methods, perhaps another article.


I have an iPhone 5. I have a partner with one too, and 4 work colleagues with variations 4s-5s
This add is absolutely spot on.

I can absolutely say without question that we ALL have issues with the battery life on iPhones, so much so that you have to have a charger in work as well as at home, and you rarely get through a full office day. Not all of us are especially literate in terms of efficient usage, but then you shouldn’t have to be to have a phone last you a day at work.

Similarly if you’re off site or working while travelling using your phone it is impossible to rely upon it lasting for the duration of your needs. You shouldn’t have to manage your phone usage intimately just to be able to get calls made & emails sent.

I am looking forward to iOS 8’s power consumption stuff, because at least you’ll get clarity of what does what, but it still doesn’t escape the central point that whatever upgrades Apple are making with the next generation iPhone, the single most important one for me will be SIGNIFICANTLY improved battery life.

Bob Murdoch

Cmon Apple… Just add a replaceable battery and this all goes away.  Think of all the spare batteries you can sell in the Apple Stores.  I’d swap them out like gun clips.

Oh, and let us add micro sd cards to boost memory like everyone else in teh sector please?  Paying $100 extra for $10 worth of extra memory is infuriating.

Frank Bostick

Android getting worse battery life than an iphone???
All mobile phones suck down battery like crazy. They shrink them down thinner and thinner. Make the bezel smaller and smaller. Bigger and bigger screen. More powerful processor and more and more RAM. Higher and higher resolution screen. Of course the longevity of the battery life is going to suffer.
It doesnt matter whether you rock IOS, Android, Windows phone, Blackberry, Symbian or even Firefox mobile or Tizen. Battery life is going to be about the same across the board. Your choice on a phone should be up to your preference and how you actually use a mobile phone. Lots of my friends prefer IOS. I prefer Android because it suits what I do for a living. I travel for work. Android allows me to plug my phone into the TV at the hotel as well as plug in a hard drive. When IOS offers that, I’ll look hard at IOS and decide whether or not I am invested into the Android ecosystem enough to justify the change.
Until then, THEY ALL GET ABOUT THE SAME BATTERY LIFE. Lets move on. Samsung as well as IOS.

Dean Lewis

Best comment so far, Frank: Use what works best for your own needs and lifestyle. I could add my own anecdotes of how my HTC One android phone and my current iPhone 5 both give me about 1.5-2 days of use, but what does that really tell anyone? I really have to tell all my app usage, the length of my phone calls, and all sorts of other things that really are about my individual use. Everyone is going to vary so much, talk of battery life really is useless unless you accompany it with a half page of fine print.

Like others, I see all different types of phone users huddles around charge stations and plugging in whenever they aren’t using their phones (car, home, work, the restaurant, etc.) It’s a cute ad but I think even the non-techie types know it’s hogwash. Even my 74 year old dad knows if you want battery life, stick with a feature phone—and he does. There is no smart phone in his needs or future.

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