Do Samsung and Microsoft share a marketing department? Observers could be forgiven for thinking this is the case, because, despite operating from opposite ends of the earth, both tech giants seem to enjoy employing a similar modus operandi when it comes to making their ads – and that is poking fun at Apple’s products and ads.
Last year, Microsoft ran a series of clips spruiking the advantages of its products compared to Apple gadgets. Among others, there was one about the Surface tablet, using a Siri-like voice to pour scorn on the limitations of the iPad (no stand makes it fall over apparently). And this one, lining up the two products side by side to underline the Surface RT’s selling points. Then there was this one, which took nearly two minutes to ridicule iPhones, but never actually mentioned Microsoft’s alternative option..
Nokia too tried its hand at knocking the opposition, with this ad.
While Samsung has a long and not so noble history of playing the same game. And the South Korean titan still seems to think that this is a smart way to go. It has just released an “extremely pointy” new ad – taking clear aim at Apple’s recent iPad Air ad, which used a pencil to show both how slimline the tablet is and to make a subtle allusion to the evolution of communication systems through the ages.
Samsung only seemed to notice the size element, though. Its ad also starts with a pencil and an iPad Air hiding behind it, but then hiding behind that is the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 (which, as a moniker, doesn’t have quite the ring to it that ‘iPad Air’ has, it must be said).
The ad then goes on to promote the Samsung tablet’s HD display and its multi-tasking capabilities. Much as Microsoft did with its commercials for the Surface last year… around the same time as its write-down of over US$900 million in an ‘inventory adjustment’. Incidentally, one can’t help wondering if that timing has anything to do with that ad now being seemingly impossible to trace on the web – prompting a ‘This video is private’ at every turn.
Like Microsoft, Samsung regularly takes swipes at Apple in its ads. As AppleInsider notes, there was one lampooning Apple customers waiting in line, a Super Bowl ad in 2012 in which Apple users were seen happily converting to Samsung’s Galaxy Note mobile (also both now tagged ‘private’ curiously enough) and one that featured ‘cool’ teenagers hanging out poolside with their Galaxy S4s while their daggy parents clung onto their iPhones. Trying to access this one prompts an even more intriguing message. Did we just imagine it then?
As for the latest ad, it’s all well and good and, like that pencil it takes joy in satirising, Samsung may have a point. But as many commenters have noted, when you continually try and sell your products by referring to the company at the top of your particular food chain, it actually just makes you look a little desperate and lacking in ideas and originality.
Or as AppleInsider commenter, Suddenly Newton, so succinctly puts it, “Rule #1 in the battle to win the #2 spot in the market: Compare yourself to the #1 product.”