Samsung Shoots At Apple, Hits The Customer
Yesterday, Samsung debuted another aggressive ad against Apple during the Super Bowl. The ad in question pushes Samsung's latest-and-greatest: The Samsung Galaxy Note. While we could go into the details on why the Galaxy Note isn't a true competitor of the iPhone’s, we won't. Instead, let's try to understand what Samsung is thinking.
The answer? Apparently, nothing.
This advertisement is the latest in a long string of Samsung ads lampooning Apple fans (or fanboys, as Samsung's marketing arm would likely dub them). The company starts off with a view of people lined up in front of an Apple Store, complaining about their afflictions. Whether it is the long wait, or the weather, or the lack of features on the latest phone, or the lack of a redesign; Samsung takes advantage of it all. The ad then transitions to the obvious savior: a person carrying a Samsung product.
The people in line display initial skepticism over the value of the product. Eventually, though, they are persuaded to stop being so blind and stupid and instead leap over the line's wall and joining the free masses (very original, Samsung).
The advertisement itself is reminiscent of the Windows vs. Mac ads that Microsoft and Apple sparred with a few years back. However, there is one key differentiator. Whereas Microsoft and Apple made jabs at each other, Samsung is instead taking jabs at not only the products, but the customers of the products. Yes, Samsung is running attack ads against the people they are trying to convince to buy their products. Brilliant!
The situation would be fine if this was in response to something Apple did to Samsung, or something Apple said. However, Samsung continues to throw punch after punch against Apple customers, with Apple refusing to respond. At some point it stops being creative, and starts being insulting. That point was roughly three commercials ago.
Of course, the real meat of the advertisement is the product being advertised. Samsung sells hundreds of phones, and could have chosen any of them to feature. Perhaps a new phone they're selling, perhaps a tablet. Anything from the Galaxy Nexus to the Galaxy Tab would have been appropriate, as they all compete directly against Apple's offerings. Instead, Samsung chose the Galaxy Note, a product that even Samsung doesn't even fully understand. When you sell a different product for every screen size, you can certainly make a better decision than the Note for the Super Bowl.
The icing on the cake, though, is the amount of money Samsung is spending on these ads. The ad that debuted yesterday during the Super Bowl was especially extravagant, costing Samsung north of $10 million. With that amount of money, it's surprising Samsung didn't focus on creating an ad on par with Apple's 1984 ad (hard to do, but possible), but instead chose to do another run-of-the-mill, over-the-top ad. Disappointing, to be sure.
The real issue though, lest we forget, is that Samsung is attacking the very people they are trying to win over. While this strategy is certainly unique, the results will be much less so. In fact, the results will likely be similar to the results RIM continues to see every quarter. Samsung should make a note of this.