samsung


24
Jul 14

Apple & Samsung: different takes on interim ads

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. Continue reading →


8
Apr 14

Apple’s little advertising crisis

Phil – and his email – get their day in court

Corporate legal dramas often serve as a reminder to one of the new cardinal rules of business:

Watch what you say in email.

I suspect there are a few people at Apple and its ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day who wish they could take their messages back, now that Samsung’s lawyers have introduced them as evidence.

One email from Phil Schiller to Tim Cook says that Apple “may need to start a search for a new agency … we are not getting what we need from [Chiat] and haven’t been for a while.”

Tim’s reply: “If we need to do this, we should get going.”

Yikes.

This all happened in 2013, so who knows if it’s blown over by now. But given Steve Jobs’ long-running relationship with Chiat, this potentially represents a huge break from the past.

A little perspective is in order. Continue reading →


24
Feb 14

Samsung and Apple: two flavors of innovation

What exactly defines an innovator these days?

Has Apple lost its title of “most innovative” because it hasn’t changed the world since 2010? Or does Samsung now own that title, even though it hasn’t changed the world since … uh, when was that again?

Obviously, innovation comes in many flavors.

Sometimes it’s about creating revolutions, other times it’s about adding features. Sometimes it’s about creating things that people fall in love with, other times it’s simply about creating things.

It’s because of the Samsung vs. Apple innovation debate that I’m so eager to see what will happen with the smartwatch category.

For the first time, no one can accuse Samsung of copying Apple as they did with iPhone and iPad. It literally beat Apple to the punch on this one.

When (and if) Apple unveils an iWatch, the world will finally see — in the starkest terms — the true difference between Samsung innovation and Apple innovation. Continue reading →


30
Dec 13

Samsung: victim of its own DNA

Oh, to be an electronics behemoth.

With its infrastructure and reach, Samsung has the power to build products in infinite categories and ship billions of products worldwide.

However, there is something very wrong with one particular strand in its corporate DNA. It’s the one labeled “marketing savvy.”

Here’s a company with a number of hit products in the mobile space and an advertising budget several times that of Apple. Yet, despite a few creative moments, something deep inside keeps pulling it back to advertising mediocrity.

See Exhibit A above. This is the newly released 2.5-minute piece being deservedly slammed as one of the worst commercials ever made. Continue reading →


11
Jul 13

Global branding: Samsung vs. Apple

Thanks to YouTube, we’re often treated to commercials from around the world.

Some are really fun to watch. Others, like this one from Samsung Iceland, are truly inexplicable.

Despite its many flaws, this spot does an excellent job of highlighting a philosophical difference between Samsung and Apple. (In case you needed another.)

What’s the best way for a company to build its brand across so many different countries and cultures? Centralize advertising at corporate HQ? Or empower local agencies to “do their thing”?

Local agencies leap at any opportunity to show off their creativity. It’s far more fulfilling than executing ideas born elsewhere. Unfortunately, agencies who are given more freedom can end up diluting or damaging the brand — as evidenced by Exhibit A above. Continue reading →


2
Jul 13

Behind the “Apple ads flop” story

Last week, a story spread through the Applesphere that Apple’s new brand commercial, Our Signature, is a flop.

This, according to Ace Metrix, which is in the business of researching such things for its clients. (See Bloomberg Businessweek story here).

On the heels of this story came another, in which it was revealed that Ace Metrix has on its client roster a company called … Samsung.

Naturally, that revelation sparked some good conspiracy theories. Like this one: Maybe Ace Metrix is saying that the ad is bad because in fact it’s really good. But since Samsung is pulling the strings, they’re saying it’s bad so Apple might believe the numbers and take it off the air. Score another point for Samsung.

Hold on there, fellas. Continue reading →


1
May 13

Microsoft & Nokia groom their comedy act

Let’s give credit where credit is due. An ad associated with Microsoft is making people laugh.

Not that this hasn’t happened before. The difference is, this time viewers are laughing with Microsoft — not at it.

It’s remarkable, because for many years Microsoft has been the older guy at the party trying to prove he’s cool or funny. Mostly, it’s turned out awkward (the Gates/Seinfeld buddy series), lame (“I’m a PC”) and/or befuddling (Surface dancing ads).

Given this track record, I’m assuming that the creative spark in this ad originated with Nokia. (Although Nokia hasn’t exactly behaved like a creative powerhouse in the past either.) But the branding here is heavily Microsoft, which has obviously opened its wallet to put the concept of “Windows Phone” front and center. Continue reading →


20
Mar 13

That was fast: Samsung buzz falls to earth

Wow, things really do happen faster in the world of Samsung.

Apple enjoyed a good 15 years of ever-increasing buzz before it finally took a hit. Samsung’s buzz has suffered a wound in just a fraction of that time.

What a difference a launch can make.

Samsung was on a tremendous winning streak over the last year or so. It way outspent Apple on marketing, effectively hitting the company while it was down. It had a monster hit with the Galaxy S III. It was hailed by many as “the new leader in innovation.” And it was all set to be anointed the king of smartphones with an epic unveiling of the Galaxy S4 at Radio City Music Hall last week.

But the next day, there wasn’t a lot of anointing going on. In fact, Samsung was taking hits on several levels. Continue reading →


13
Mar 13

Apple vs. everyone: battle of the tablet ads

Whatever happened to the good old days, when iPad was the only choice in town?

Unfortunately for Apple, those days are now long gone. There’s no resting on past glories. For those comparing tablets today, it hardly matters who invented what. What’s important is what they see today — and it starts with the ads.

Let’s see how the ad competition is shaping up.

Apple has always spawned passionate reactions to its advertising, pro and con. But these days, it seems that the natives are restless. Continue reading →


25
Feb 13

Apple battling where it used to crush

No one denies that Apple has been more successful than any other technology company on earth.

How that happened shouldn’t be a matter of debate, but we can always count on human nature to muddy the waters. Some Apple detractors put forth the theory that it’s not the technology; it’s all in the marketing.

Reasonably intelligent people can’t possibly believe that. However, there is one bit of truth to it. That is, Apple has always been amazingly good at marketing. It’s been the gold standard in marketing as long as most of us can remember.

No matter what brand I’m working with, technology or otherwise, it’s astounding how many times I hear marketing people cite the Apple example to make a point. Apple’s advertising history is as famous as its products.

But something’s changed. Continue reading →