Bad enough that Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch is being universally panned by reviewers.
Now the product’s launch commercial is getting the same treatment. Mostly because it’s a shameless copy of the very first iPhone commercial.
No argument here about the blatant nature of this rip-off. However, my problem is a more basic one:
The ad is crap.
Rule number one when you set out to copy someone else’s work: “Do it well.” In ignoring this rule, Samsung has set itself up for the double whammy — attacked for being unoriginal and creatively anemic.
Just compare the two commercials. The iPhone ad is perfectly simple. Each of its clips is quick and features the same “hello” word. You get it instantly.
The Samsung ad is a mess. Its creators seem to believe that if they turn a bunch of clips about watches into a commercial, it will have the same effect. It doesn’t.
Some of Samsung’s clips barely make sense. In the end, you’re left with a sloppy stew of disjointed snippets that say little.
Apple recognized that this type of message telegraphs its message best at 30 seconds. Samsung made their effort “doubly creative” as a 60-second spot. Unfortunately, it wears out its welcome in less than half that time.
Samsung also fails to understand the difference between their situation today and Apple’s situation back then.
Apple’s ad ran on the Oscars, so its cinematic references perfectly fit the media. It followed the product unveiling, but ran four months before iPhone went on sale. It was a teaser — the sole purpose of which was to create anticipation for the coming launch.
Samsung has already launched its product. If it were more skilled in copying, it would copy the ads that actually did the selling for iPhone. Those ads were aimed at a world that had never seen such a product before, featuring easy-to-digest demos.
I’m actually surprised at the low quality of this commercial. However you feel about Samsung or its products, its bigger ads this year (Super Bowl and Oscars) had a creative element and good production values.
This one feels like it was made without adult supervision.
In one way of looking at it, though, Samsung’s new ad is quite an accomplishment. It’s a copy of an Apple ad, selling a product that’s a copy of something Apple hasn’t even made yet.