In the last week, we’ve seen new commercials from both Apple and Samsung.
They’re for different product categories — laptop and phone — but they do have something in common. Both promote products that have been out for some time and have no new features to boast.
With MacBook Air, Apple is in a pretty comfortable place. The ultra-light notebook category isn’t nearly as combustible as the phone category, and MacBook Air isn’t particularly threatened. Sales are better than ever.
With the Galaxy S5, Samsung finds itself in a tougher spot. Decreasing sales have already let some air out of the Samsung balloon. Apple is on the rise again, and 95% of the buzz these days is about the looming iPhone 6.
With all that in mind, let’s look at how Apple and Samsung are stating their cases.
Stickers is a great example of a well-crafted, lovable ad that scores points despite a lack of any real news.
It’s fun to watch, and it exists to say only one thing: people love their MacBook Airs. There’s no attempt to say why — and no need to.
It captures the spirit of the MacBook Air owner much as the old Silhouette campaign captured the spirit of the iPod owner. It speaks the language of emotion, not technology.
Those who don’t understand marketing will of course jump on that fact. But the spot pulls you in and it reinforces what the Apple brand is all about: Apple makes products people fall in love with.
A critic could argue that sticker are at least as prevalent in the PC world. I always had the feeling that Mac people were more likely not to mess up the simple elegance of their chosen device.
And of course it’s a lot more entertaining to see an artfully crafted montage of interesting stickers than to stare at the one you affix to your computer.
But again, this is advertising, and not a documentary. The music is fun and the spot is entertaining, to the point where you see new things with repeated viewings. You get the idea that Apple owners love their laptops — and that’s the whole point.
It’s also fantastic news for all the fast-thinking entrepreneurs who will now flood the market with endless varieties of cool MacBook Air stickers.
If I were to criticize anything about it, it would be the last (and only) line: The notebook people love.
For the last couple of years, I’ve found myself wishing that Apple would regain its wit. Surely the same thought could have been expressed with a bit of cleverness.
Given the recent news about Apple creating more of its ads in-house, it would be interesting to know where this ad came from. If anyone has a clue, leave a comment.
Does Samsung worry about the launch of iPhone 6? This Screen Envy ad provides the answer.
It’s obvious to every man, woman and child that the biggest difference between a Galaxy and an iPhone is screen size.
It’s equally obvious that a sizable chunk of Galaxy owners chose their device largely because Apple didn’t give them the option.
Adding to this avalanche of obviousness is the fact that the new iPhone(s) will eliminate Samsung’s screen-size advantage.
So in this commercial, Samsung gets in its last jabs as screen-size king.
In effect, Samsung is saying “We’ve had a bigger screen all along, so why wait for a bigger iPhone?” Unfortunately for Samsung, the easy answer is: “I’ll wait because it’s only two months away.”
Few buyers will elect to “punish” Apple for being slow on this one. (And yes, Apple was at least a year too slow.) They will simply be thankful that Apple is finally making the iPhone they’ve wanted.
I empathize with Samsung, because it’s a next-to-impossible task to counter the buzz leading up to a radically new iPhone. Especially when no one really knows what other goodies the iPhone 6 may feature. It’s tough to do battle with people’s hopes and dreams.
In Screen Envy, Samsung’s argument is transparent, weak and unlikely to blunt Apple’s pending attack.
What we see is a company getting in its last zinger before there is little left to zing.