A still image from the Galaxy S3 ad attacking the iPhone and ridiculing the long lines fans are making for something they already own. (Photo : Samsung)
For years Apple has 'bullied' rival companies with ads such as the infamous "Mac vs. PC" commercials or lawsuits (the recent battle with Samsung comes to mind). Other companies have tried to fight back, but Apple's innovation has left them weak and pointless.
But now Samsung has decided to take a stand, and a big one at that. They released an ad over the weekend with the headline "It doesn't take a genius" that aimed to show why the Samsung Galaxy S3 was better than the iPhone 5. That move was met with some degree of controversy as Apple fans took to the internet to voice their anger and displeasure. Other companies would have folded after that reaction, but Samsung has decided to take an even bolder move...and this one is truly a huge success.
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Again, Samsung has decided to take an aggressive route and this time it is aimed at Apple and its fans. In their video, Samsung has decided to include shots of the long lines forming around the country in anticipation of the new iPhone 5. The fans are finally talking about how "the headphone jack is going to be on the bottom" and that it will be called a "precious jewel." Then one fan says that the connector is going to be "all-digital" but to emphasize how confusing Apple's jargon has become the fan adds "What does that even mean?"
Then the tone starts to shift as one customer in the California line says that there "should be a priority line for those of us who have waited five times." This is a jab at the fact that Apple has stated that the iPhone 5 is the Next Big Thing since the iPhone that was released five years ago. Samsung seems to be questioning Apple on why they took so long to increase the screen size and alter the phone more radically while others were already doing it for years. Then another one comments on using an adapter for the new dock and then another fan persuades that "they make the coolest adaptors right?" Another fan doesn't seem so sure.
And then Samsung makes its move. One fan goes on the line and the others welcome him back. Then they ask if the Galaxy S3 didn't work out so well, but the person retorts that he loves his Galaxy S3, he's just holding a spot for someone. Then the bashing continues. The S3 owner was saving a spot for his elderly parents (as in the iPhone is outdated) and a bunch of people start showing off the fact that the S3 already has features that Apple is just getting.
A geeky looking guy defends the iPhone while a more hip guy talks about how the Samsung has a bigger screen and has had 4G for a while. The ad ultimately asks: Why are you wasting your time waiting for something you could already have? And that is a question that does not work in Apple's favor.
Unlike their ad which was obvious and filled with generic terms that made the argument silly, this video is stylish, subtle, and concise. Rather using extraneous terms that no one cares about in the argument, Samsung sticks to their strong suits in order sell the argument: the big screen and the fact that they already have 4G. And they never have to mention the iPhone to do it. They never attack Apple directly which is a classy way of presenting the argument and dispatches the "bully" image that others were referencing.
Plus, they did it with the most accessible and dominant media: video. People can look at an ad and slant it easily, but the video gives them a defined character and more flexibility in delivering the message. Plus, it is quite humorous and lends an air of levity that the ad could never do. More importantly, it treats its viewers like intelligent people, something the ad and it's "genius" line failed to do.
Will the video push people back toward Samsung's side? That cannot be measured just yet. Will it decrease Apple sales for the iPhone 5? Probably not as the two sides are like Repbulicans and Democrats; they will follow their side and even if they make mistakes time and again they will refuse to acknowledge the mistakes. What we can see from this ad is that Samsung is not afraid to take a shot at Apple. What it shows is that Samsung is not just a passing competitor; they are here to stay and they want Apple to know that.
Apple hasn't responded yet and who knows if they need to as the iPhone finally goes on sale tomorrow.