Are you ready for the best smart phone commercial ever, watch the video and check out my commentary below.
This video was released right before the launch of the Iphone 4-S. The blogs were all a twitter about what features were going to be available, and Samsung had just released their SII unit and were looking to blunt the traditional boom accompianed by the release of a new Iphone unit. The add uses a variety of different persuasive techniques to convince its target audience, the traditional 18-35 year old market, people who can afford smart phones but haven't been indoctrinated into the Cult of Mac yet, or people who are fence sitters. It pokes fun at Apple by showing fans waiting in long lines, something that is normally a good thing, and flips it on its head by use of hidden fear, e.g what features will the new phone have and how will people know I have a new phone. The characters in the ad actually utter those words, which was received remarkably well. It was sending the message if you want to be cool, but not act like you are trying to be cool buy the Samsung Galaxy SII.
All of the actors in the ad are known unknowns, in that they represent some known character archetype. Whether its the pretentious barista, the hipster cult of mac guy, the savvy Asian, or the annoying blond. The ad is overflowing with humor and did an excellent job of displaying the strengths of the Samsung while simultaneously jumping on the bandwagon of Anti-IPhone ads that were on the internet. Another such "ad" is below, although this one is user generated. I have included this ad, because it goes to show how a company does not have to have a whole ad campaign on its own anymore, user generated ads are not only free but they can add to the viral nature of any ad campaign.
One of the subtler aspects of the commercial was that the only person who said the Samsung was a "great phone" was the savvy asian, and it is known that Americans think of Asians as more tech savvy than them. This as heavily relies on the association principle, up to this point people have associated coolness, creativity, and sophistication to those who use I-brand products. This ad attempts to turn that on its head by portraying Apples customers as pretentious followers who are just being lead by the nose to buy inferior products, whereas the savvy people already have a great device, they don't have to wait in line. This ad was not seen in its entirety on TV because of its length, but segments of it were shown, and it was heavily played on the Comedy Central website, if one was watching Colbert, Stewart, or South Park during the weeks before and after the Iphone release they were almost guaranteed to see this advert. Which is ideal seeing as most of the people who watch those shows online are guaranteed to be in the target demographic.
I included this ad because while it was not released by Samsung it was released at the same time and was part of the decentralized viral ad campaign centered around the release of the Iphone 4s. It too pokes fun at Apples customers and is vital to understanding why Samsung felt like it would be a good idea to release an ad like the one they did.
This final ad is included to show just how plugged in companies are becoming in terms of social media, below is a "you tube star" who is now doing commercials for Mobile Samsung Paris. The use of dubstep and finger tutting is designed to make customers feel like Samsung is a hip, modern brand, that understands what they want out of a tech company.
For the record, I am a total Samsung fan, although I do not own the SII.