While Samsung has been accused of copying Apple technology, no one will ever accuse it of copying Apple advertising.
Unfortunately, its ads remain distinctly Samsung.
No, I am not a fan of Samsung advertising in general. This isn’t because of the company’s products, it’s more of a tone and creative quality issue. Samsung ads just feel cheap to me. They feel like the ideas that inevitably show up in internal agency meetings, but are quickly scrapped in favor of something smarter.
This new ad lives up to my low expectations.
First, it’s visually unappealing. I like to believe that a company capable of creating a smartphone can hobble together a decent-looking ad.
The headline “It doesn’t take a genius” carries on in the tradition of Samsung TV commercials mocking those who line up for a new iPhone at the Apple Store. You find yourself wishing it was more clever than it is.
But even as it fails in certain creative measures, this ad does an amazingly good job of exposing the philosophical differences between Samsung and Apple.
For starters, it assumes that comparing technical specs is the best way to choose a phone. If the Galaxy’s list is longer, surely it must be superior. This comparison completely bypasses the notion that the user experience plays any role in customer satisfaction.
Never mind that the Galaxy’s list contains a number of items that will be meaningless to ordinary readers, or that the iPhone’s list of attractive features is unfairly minimized.
The clearest communication of this ad may be that “bigger is better.”
My iPhone has always felt pretty natural in my pocket. I’ve never really thought of its size as a selling point or a handicap. However, this ad is enough to shock me to my senses. With iPhone’s size as my point of reference, I cannot fathom how I’d carry that honkin’ Galaxy thing in my pocket.
It’s enough to make me appreciate anew Apple’s decision to add only height to the new iPhone 5, and not width.
And if you think the Galaxy S III is big, wait till you see what’s coming. An article in The Korea Times this morning says that the new Galaxy S4 phone due in February will have an even larger screen. Have your tailor on standby to adjust those pockets accordingly.
Whatever similarities may exist between certain Apple and Samsung devices, the philosophical differences between the two companies is becoming far more distinct. And that’s something that Samsung seems eager to advertise.