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Samsung Nails It: Apple Spoof Is Company's Most Effective Ad Ever

Steven Blum
10

This is what a disillusioned Apple fan looks like.

Samsung's latest Apple spoof may be the most effective the company has ever created – not because it's the best made, but because the mood surrounding the reveal of the iPhone 5 was so sour this past week that the commercial seems less like satire and more like a documentary of actual Apple fans disillusioned by their former source of inspiration. 

The style of the commercial is fundamentally the same as its always been: a group of shoppers camped out in front of the local Apple store are momentarily made aware of the Galaxy S3, making their own object of desire (the iPhone 5) look irrelevent by comparison.

The folks are trying, desperately, to feel excited about the newest member of the iPhone family, even though the updates made to the phone have been miniscule. "The headphone jack is going to be on the bottom," says one shopper, excitedly. "I heard the connector is all digital," exclaims another. It seems so silly that anyone would be excited about such minor, cosmetic changes, but Samsung has hit the nail on the head: this is exactly the way customers of the newest iPhone will likely attempt to rationalize their newest purchase.

Even more than the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 has been a disappointment. Since it wasn't meant to be simply an update, but a radical redesign, the hopes for a truly revolutionary device were high, at least among people who still believe Apple is capable of creating products that lead the market. In the end, the device proved lackluster, barely able to hold its own against flagship Android phones.

As Samsung has done in the past, they've dressed the folks waiting for the iPhone in the latest fashions, thus poking at the creative class's obsession with the newest Apple products. Samsung seems to be saying, "just because these folks think they're cool doesn't actually mean they know what's up," which might actually be a smart way for Android to market their products in the longer term. By pointing out the self-concious cluelessness of Apple customers, they set themselves apart as a genuinely innovative manufacturer.

But it's easier to tear something down than to build something up, which is why I find the actual clips of the Galaxy S3 in action less compelling than Samsung's witty satire about the folks waiting in line. In one instance, Samsung shows two people sharing playlists via NFC. I have never seen anyone do that, ever – and it doesn't look natural, even if it's a really cool feature. Don't get me wrong– I love NFC – but there are cooler features Samsung could have shared. When there are so many ways of sharing things –through WiFi or simply by clicking the "share playlist" button on Spotify, bumping phones doesn't make so much sense. More compelling arguments for buying the Galaxy S3 are emphasizing its bigger screen and Pop-Up play feature, both of which Samsung does. But it is consistently irritating that manufacturers don't highlight the Android OS, but rather the features they've added to it (some of which are unwanted). So it goes with a fragmented marketplace...

At the end of the clip, after seeing all the Galaxy S3 can do, one of the older gentlemen in line says, "we're going to get that [feature] right? Not this time, but the next time?" The question suggests that Apple is now playing catch-up to the rest of the industry. Many analysts would certainly agree that if Apple doesn't innovate, it could face a slow (VERY slow) fade into irrelevency.

In other words, Samsung has captured the current mood perfectly – and considering the ad has racked up over 73,00 views of the ad in the past day, it looks like I'm not the only one who thinks so.

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Comments

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  • User picture
    Nick N. Sep 20, 2012 Link

    "...less like satire and more like a documentary of actual Apple fans..."

    I couldn't have said it better, Steven!

    Yep, the ad nailed it. Big time.

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  • Dean Sep 20, 2012 Link

    Time to open you're eyes apple fans. spot on!

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  • Rutger Sep 20, 2012 Link

    The funnirst thing is that the S3-guy is holding the spot for he's old parents! :-D

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  • Dvoraak Sep 20, 2012 Link

    "But it is consistently irritating that manufacturers don't highlight the Android OS, but rather the features they've added to it (some of which are unwanted). So it goes with a fragmented marketplace..."

    I guess I'm the only person on the planet that thinks what unifies the phones is the least attractive part when it come to selling a model. It's the same problem I have with Windows phones. The basic OS is just that. Basic and mostly identical across all the devices.
    At least with Android, OEMs have the freedom to modify it at will and that's what allows some to shine and others to start laying off employees. HTC doesn't make bad devices. Motorola doesn't either, but Samsung still dominates while everyone else trims their workforce.
    I think Samsung hit this one out of the park mostly BECAUSE they didn't highlight Android. It hits Apple and all their other competition at the same time.
    The fragmentation is real but that's an ecosystem problem. Samsung just needs to sell their products as best they can.

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  • User picture
    Mod
    DaBartonator Sep 20, 2012 Link

    Apple is the next RIM?

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  • Imran Sep 21, 2012 Link

    Thank you, i just realized that such ad exist and saw it.

    makes the point as you said

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  • Patrick R. Sep 22, 2012 Link

    @Dvoraak, I agree. The Samsung advantage is not because they provide up to the minute updates (they don't - JB for my note soon pretty please) or an unlocked boot loader (honestly of the tens of millions out there, how many are rooted or running a custom rom?)

    It is because they innovate on their own and are not purely dependent on Google. Given that it's a hit or miss situation but even the great apple misses as much as it hits. Spec wise or design wise the is no cogent reason why Sammy would out sell htc, Moto, Asus etc. Same specs, same displays, same camera. But experience TW - pop up play, gestures, SPen, SNote etc etc. - even with all its faults, you'd really miss it when its not there. I am a bit of a flashaholic. I am willing to try any rom or mod out there. But O eventually always come home to stock. Okay, I run it with a custom kernel but it really feels loke home, stupid icons and all. Touchwiz, love it or hate it, really differentiates Samsung from the rest.

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  • Patrick R. Sep 22, 2012 Link

    Although I'd like to point out another reality showed in the ad although it is a bit toned down there. The Apple fans/users still stayed on line. True, they will longingly look at a feature, but at the end of the day, they'll still get an iPhone. Some will even dismiss this or that android feature as... but will you actually use it? Who does bluetooth file transfers? Who pays with NFC anyway? That is until Apple rips it off and twitter and facebook floods with the latest and greatest iPhone feature that blew their minds AND revolutionized the smart phone again.

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  • Dvoraak Sep 22, 2012 Link

    @Patrick - That's where I part ways with the Apple critics who also happen to be Android fans. The Apple lines aren't there because they think Apple is the most innovative. They just trust an iPhone to work well and perform it's functions as advertised without a hitch (the maps debacle being the only true fail Apple has had since the start). They simply don't trust Android to do the same. Then add in the design and fashion of it.... Apple stays on top for a while longer. The difference this time is the bloggers. The mainstream media (I really hate that term but in this case it fits) is still on board and all in for iPhone but many of the blogs are expressing disappointment. They can create a groundswell that impacts sales. Even then, I don't think Apple would really feel the impact until they have another disappointing release (or two).

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  • CJ Brown Sep 24, 2012 Link

    I think there should be a sequel commercial on day one for the iPhone5 to be available in stores .... showing whomever purchased the new iPhone5 trying to connect to their old accessories, docks, etc (& failing - lol) .... showing whomever purchased the new iPhone5 getting lost due to a poor Map app (& mumbling made up locations) .... showing what happens when neither new iPhone from Verizon & Sprint can't handle voice communication and data @ once (just lampoon every complaint and / or design fail) .... It's not illegal to show what your competitor can't do


    C J

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