updated 07:20 pm EST, Tue November 22, 2011
Samsung tries to directly attack Apple fandom
Samsung launched a direct challenge to Apple in a TV spot Tuesday for the Galaxy S II. The minute-long ad makes fun of those who have lined up for hours for the iPhone 4S and shows them eager to wait for Apple until they see a Galaxy S II, at which point they're purportedly entranced by the "huge" screen and 4G data. The ad also takes risks and openly insults some of those in line, playing on stereotypes of Apple fans as hipsters and being worried that the 4S doesn't look different on the outside.
"I can never get a Samsung, I'm creative," says one in line. His friend chastises him. "Dude, you're a barista," the response says.
The commercial wraps up by claiming that the "next big thing is already here" in a suggestion that people don't need to get in line for Samsung's phones.
Traditionally, ads attacking the customers a company is trying to reach have usually had little effect and have sometimes backfired, such as Apple's infamous "lemmings" ad from 1985. Multiple iPhone users who have seen the ad have openly commented that the ad actually reinforced their commitment to Apple. "As an avid Apple user I find this ad kinda insulting," one said. "I was thinking about picking up the S2 but after watching this I have lost respect for Samsung."
The ad also inadvertently underscored the problem Samsung faces in the US. Where Apple has little trouble commanding lines hundreds of people deep even after including pre-orders, Samsung's multi-carrier Galaxy S II release in the US didn't have that effect. Samsung has topped Apple in smartphones worldwide, but this has come from its collective smartphones and mostly from Europe and Asia, not North America.