Sep 14

Samsung innovation: funny ads without humor

I take some heat for sometimes saying nice things about Samsung advertising.

When I do that, it’s strictly as an observer of marketing — certainly not as a fan of the company. The fact is, Samsung has scored points by making fun of the Apple culture, just as Apple did by poking fun at PCs in the famous Mac vs. PC campaign.

However, Samsung’s marketing efforts have been spotty at best. As much as it has benefited from good ads, it has soiled its own nest with ads that are embarrassingly amateurish.

Historically, the gap between Samsung’s advertising peaks and valleys has been so extreme, I have to believe the ads are either created by different teams in different countries, or by one team with multiple-personality issues.

Now we have a whole new batch of Samsung ads that poke fun at Apple. Or, I should say, attempt to poke fun at Apple. There is a serious shortage of fun in these spots, and they are unlikely to gain favor even amongst Samsung believers.

If there is anything funny here, it’s that these ads fail by depicting Apple Geniuses — just as Apple failed with its horrendous Genius-based ads during the 2012 Olympics.

Could it be The Curse Of The Genius?

Nah. Samsung doesn’t get off the hook that easy.

I can actually see how someone might have thought this would be a good time to make fun of Apple again, immediately following the iPhone 6 unveiling. Ironically, it was probably immediacy that doomed them. The spots feel like they were written as they were being filmed, with third-rate actors plucked off the street.

In one ad, Samsung actually mocks Apple’s glitchy webcast of the iPhone 6 event — as if mainstream customers know or care about that. In another spot, it mocks the fact that the iPhone 6 doesn’t come with a stylus. It also mocks the fact that it took forever for Apple to come out with a bigger screen — which is a perfectly valid criticism that means nothing to consumers now that Apple actually has bigger screens.

You can endure the whole collection of new Samsung ads over at MacDailyNews.

I’m scratching my head, trying to remember the last time so many bad ads were released at once. We may well be witnessing a new record.

Humorless as they are, I imagine these ads are causing a few chuckles in the halls of a certain office complex in Cupertino, CA. How quickly the tide turns.

Just a short time ago, Samsung was riding a wave of buzz, with some saying it had replaced Apple as the great innovator. Suddenly Samsung’s technology has lost some of its luster, its smartphone sales are trending lower, profits are down — and Apple is at the crest of the wave with its new phones and watch.

The new Samsung ads may not be examples of great advertising. But they do an excellent job of capturing the current state of the company — running low on innovation and losing its sense of humor.


  • These ads were nauseating. However, I thought Denny’s immediate reaction to Apple’s live stream problems via twitter was pitch perfect and hilarious. https://twitter.com/DennysDiner/status/509396332843646977

  • ksegall

    Agreed. Love it!

    In one 20-second burst, Denny’s outclassed Samsung’s creative effort :)

  • filecat13

    Nuts! Now I feel I need to eat at Denny’s. Thanks for the link, I think… :-)

  • Really? I’ve *never* eaten at Denny’s…..while sober…


  • qka

    Drunk or sober, Denny’s doesn’t care.