The flaw in Samsung’s anti-iPhone commercial

“What has been the criticism of many commercials pitching cell phones, Droid’s in particular, is how they don’t market any real value to the end consumer,” Ben Bajarin writes for Tech.pinions. “Showing a gal fighting a robot, or a person hijacking a truck to steal a phone, doesn’t necessarily showcase to the end consumer why they should choose this product over another.”

“This latest Samsung commercial (see below) is highly entertaining and a welcomed departure from the usual commercials from iPhone competitors,” Bajarin writes. “That being said, although well intended, I think it misses the broader opportunity and is therefore fundamentally flawed. As I processed this new Galaxy SII commercial, the flaw in their messaging hit me when a would be iPhone buyer in line at an Apple store said this: ‘How will people know I upgraded, since the new one looks the same?'”

Bajarin writes, “Despite a range of other odd moments in the commercial, this one struck me because it leaves me thinking that Samsung is interested in iPhone converts, or at the very least early adopters What is flawed with this commercial is that it makes no sense to the non-techie consumer, the largest part of the market and the one Apple’s commercials are designed to speak communicate with. Samsung shouldn’t be concerned with consumers upgrading from the iPhone 4 to the 4S.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s very simple. As we wrote earlier today

Samsung is concerned with keeping the sheep they have in the pen. “Don’t wander!” That’s all this particular ad is about. Siri’s siren call has created some very restless sheep and that obviously has Samsung spooked.

The target of this commercial is the non-iPhone user, specifically those who have already settled for a Samsung iPhone knockoff, not iPhone owners.

Watch the ad again. It’s clear that Samsung’s intent is to keep their customers from straying.


    1. Dude. None of those competitors phones have 4G. It’s nonsense. The 4S gets the exact same download speeds as the competitors. Apple just isn’t jumping on the fake 4G bandwagon because no one has a true 4G chipset.

    2. Which American wireless company actually offers true 4G? How widespread is it? With bandwidth limits on most plans what’s the real benefit when a person can also use wifi to do most of the heavy lifting, and when that’s not available the current ATT data throughputs are reasonably fast compared to Verizon. Maybe when the iPhone 5 is released it might really matter. Remember the commercials bragging about how the Android tablets (can’t remember which one) were being touted for being able to run Flash? That was exciting (okay, sarcasm there,) and obviously a lame sales pitch trying to differentiate their weak product from the iPad. Same for the 4G claims. Big deal! Plenty of surveys of bandwidth usage for mobile devices shoe that iOS is way ahead of Android in actual usage, despite Android having more handsets out there running fragmented and outdated versions of their OS.

      BTW, on the Samsung commercial… it’s a fairly lame stereotyping attempt, but fails to explain why any of these so-called iPhone fans are waiting in line, trying to make it look like they’re easily swayed by the next shiny toy in some random stranger’s hand. But as one of my buddies from New England always said of first distant impressions (or darts he threw in the board)

      “… good from afar, but far from good!”

      That’s really the lesson of this spoof. Just add those words to the end silently, and the whole thing backfires. Sadly for them, Samsung misses the point of why Apple connects with consumers. When the actors start saying, “its a Samsung, wow!” they could have been saying, HTC… or Moto… or LG… or Yingtong… or Yellow Duck… or any other brand. [script has empty slot which says, ‘insert brand name here.’]

  1. Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m confused. Isn’t the iPhone 4s also capable of HSPA+ (4g(bs cough)). So that isn’t an advantage. Isn’t this a little late for this kind of marketing. Are there still people lined up for iPhones?

  2. The underlying message is – nobody else wants a samsung Galaxy so you won’t have to stand in line – ever. I am not sure that that message is a good one to send. Current iPhone owners know that the wait is only if you want it on the first day(week) or so, otherwise no problem.

  3. Uh, this ad kinda reminds me of the Microsoft commercials about people selecting a laptop computer and saying that they weren’t “cool” enough to buy a Mac. Yea, those PC laptops have been flying off the shelves (not) since those series of ads were aired.

    And remember the Motorola ad for the Xoom that aired during SuperBowl XLV, the one that made the not-so-subtle reference to that historic 1984 spot by Apple, except this time, Motorola is the one throwing the hammer. Except for the Motorola Xoom owner, everyone else is dressed in white, moping around like expressionless sheep. And how did those Xoom sales turn out?

    Also, why in the ad didn’t any of those waiting in line for the 4S ask any of the smug Samsung phone owners if their phones had SIRI?

  4. I think the confusing line in the commercial was an attempt to mock Apple fans as “style over substance” customers who buy phones mainly to show them off (hence the actor’s disappointment that the new model looks just like the old one). You know, the same old, tired, snarky elitist label. This is, of course, largely not true, and the fact that the intent of the line is open to interpretation proves that part of the commercial failed. I think the target audience for this commercial is certainly NOT current iPhone users.

    What I find hilarious is Samsumg’s mockery of a company whose fans wait in line to buy products, when Samsung (or any company for that matter) would LOVE to have that kind of devotion from its customer base.

    1. I like this quote:
      “I think the confusing line in the commercial was an attempt to mock Apple fans as “style over substance” customers who buy phones mainly to show them off ”
      The thing is thats how most Korean even Japanese cell phone users are. They buy ah iPhone or whatever smart just as a fashion statement and never really use it like a smart phone.

      1. >The thing is thats how most Korean even Japanese cell phone users are. They buy ah iPhone or whatever smart just as a fashion statement and never really use it like a smart phone.<
        Not sure where you got that impression, but I can assure that every bus and subway in Seoul is now clogged with people using their iphones and androids as smart phones. Maybe hapless Chinese iphone users stuck on 2G China Mobile?

  5. Why don’t I just get a Samsung? Because it feels insecure & crappy-cheap to the touch. It doesn’t have the assured, premium elegance of an iPhone! Why don’t I get a 4G phone? Because I don’t want to be carrying a phone charger with me all the time. Samsung – like all the members of the Android horde – are concerned with making a buck than serving the long-term interests of consumers. Why will I never buy a Samsung? Because I value originality, American exceptionalism & longevity of my mobile device.

  6. The problem with this commercial is that it insults the very people it is suppose to be enticing. Although I would never stand in line for an iPhone or anything else of the sort, I don’t see it wrong when people do this. Now camping out three day’s in advance for Black Friday, that is another story.

    1. Rule 1 of advertising: Don’t piss off your target audience. Who are they hoping to reach out to? Samsung buyers are already hooked. It’s the iPhone buyers they want to bait, but not with this advert.

  7. Such hostility.

    By the way, Samsung, hostility does no win you new customers. And the iPhone design, including screen size, is perfect. I dread they may ever change it, other than to make it thinner.

    1. “Everyone” may be talking about it, but it won’t be a “smashing” success unless it translates to a lot of Galaxy SII sales for Samsung. Otherwise, it’s just fodder for water cooler small talk.

        1. Yes, I would also agree that the ad is being widely discussed, but there’s also the possibility that it could also have the unintended effect of drawing even more attention to the iPhone 4S. Sort of like free advertising for Apple.

  8. I would love to buy a shiny, new Samsung phone… But by the time it took me to purchase an iPhone, Samsung would have introduced it’s tenth newest smartphone and I would be stuck with one of it’s older phones! I’ll stick with the iPhone after all! :-p

  9. This IS good advertising. It may not be a good product, but it definitely is good advertising. No the iPhone doesn’t offer an LTE veriant. Yes iPhones have smaller screens. Yes it looks the same as the 4. Yes iOS 5 reduces battery life in some instances. Do those things matter? Not in the real world.

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