Hey Samsung, don’t be a dick

This is Samsung’s new ad for its Galaxy S III phone.

The spot runs for almost 90 seconds. Of that, less than one-third by my count is spent actually highlighting the product’s features and benefits. The rest is spent making fun of Apple. And more specifically, Apple’s customers.

I’m sure it’s a message that strikes a home run with the same wild-eyed Android zealots who troll Apple Web site discussion forums to pick fights, but does this message really resound with anyone else?

And what does it say about a company’s values when they’re willing to spend advertising money to make fun of another company’s customers.

I’d like to offer Samsung some advice by borrowing the words of actor and Internet celebrity Wil Wheaton: Don’t be a dick.



  • http://twitter.com/daanno Danijel Dercksen

    O, so the Mac vs PC ads never happend?! But when sombodey else does it to Apple, it’s suddenly not ok?! Objectivity, Objectivity..

    • http://twitter.com/ihkdesign HK

      The Mac vs PC ads were not making fun of users.

    • http://www.nithin.net Nithin

      Do you get the difference now? Stick to the products.

    • Dot

      It is a weird ad in my opinion. What the people who made the ad don’t seem to understand is that waiting in line at an Apple store is to cell phones like what going to a concert is to music. You go to a concert/stand in line to have a good time with other people and have an experience and something to talk about later.

      If you just wanted a phone/music you would order it online or go to a phone/music store. It is like they are making fun of people who think of a phone as more than just a one-size-fits-all-phone and/or people who enjoy events. So be a killjoy Samsung, who cares about you?

    • Bt

      I was a heavy pc user when the Mac v PC ads came out. I never once thought the John hodgeman character made fun of me. In fact, I though he was more endearing compared to the smug apple guy. Those ads were lighthearted, whereas these are mean spirited and alienating a potential future customer base. Not smart in my opinion. Only samsungs fan base is going to get a kick out of this.

    • Peter Cohen

      You’re missing the point. Samsung is denigrating Apple customers. It’s a cheap shot and it’s unnecessary. Promote your product, features and benefits. But don’t make fun of customers. That’s just shitty marketing.

      • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

        Denigrating? Wow. They didn’t call you dumb just that you’ll be excited about anything Apple produces. Isn’t that right? The faithful justifies every Apple decision and boasts the prowess of updates then waits in lines no matter what.

        That’s their point and it is true. Is it not?

        • Peter Cohen

          Your response reveals more about your biases than it does to reveal any truth about Apple customers.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Nice. Fall back on bias to a person with more Apple products than anything. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean I’m biased…I just see it differently.

            Now, why not engage in conversation and answer my question?

          • Peter Cohen

            “The faithful” you’re referring to represent an infinitesimal fraction of people who have bought the iPhone 5 since it came out. And directing advertising to make fun of them reeks of desperation – it tells me Samsung doesn’t believe in its own product enough to try to promote it on its own merits.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Infinitesimal is arguable but they got their point across. The iPhone 5 doesn’t have much new, tech wise, that the S3 hasn’t had for almost a year.

            It reeks the same comedy as Mac vs PC, that I watched as a PC user at the time and thought it was funny too. Apple could’ve focused on their tech but instead focused on PC being a dunce, etc.

            Both campaigns focus on their tech through making fun of their main competitor.

          • http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/ Shawn King

            “The iPhone 5 doesn’t have much new, tech wise, that the S3 hasn’t had for almost a year.”

            Really? The A6 chip isn’t new? And Samsung has had an A6 chip in the S3 for almost a year now? Wow…I had no idea…

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Lmbo. No it hasn’t but it has had a quad core in it (international S3). There is a lot more you could have pulled besides the chip. :-D

            Ultimately, A6, etc wont matter to most users. It is a spec that won’t be a deciding purchase factor.

          • http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/ Shawn King

            “There is a lot more you could have pulled besides the chip.”

            Sure. But I didn’t have to. You made a statement. I proved it wrong.

            “Ultimately, A6, etc wont matter to most users.”

            Your statement wasn’t about “what mattered”. It was about “there’s nothing new” in the iPhone 5. Again – you were wrong. No big deal. Just admit it, own it and move on.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Based on the A6, I wasn’t. It is new from the 4s but still less than the 4 cores in the S3.

            Read again: “The iPhone 5 doesn’t have much new, tech wise, that the S3 hasn’t had for almost a year.”

            I never said it didn’t have anything new. I said “much new” (big difference). If i were wrong, I would.

          • http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/ Shawn King

            LOL Are you having fun splitting those hairs? You’re backstroking like an Olympic swimmer.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            I can cut hair and swim quite nicely. I love discussions/debates…just make a legit point.

          • http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/ Shawn King

            I made several. You’d rather split hairs and play word games. Not interested in playing childish games. Have a good day.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Lol. You made one that was completely wrong, get corrected and resort to playing the “childish games” card. Good one.

            Have a great day.

          • Darius

            Based on your logic, the reason that the Samsung chip is ‘better’ than the A6 is because it has four cores rather than two. Given that the A6 handily kicks the Samsung’s arse in raw compute power regardless of the number of cores I think shows that Apple has done some amazing work in its designs.

            What you’ve written smacks of spec driven justification.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            The other dude is focused on the A6, not me. I think the A6 is great tech and no I’m not basing it solely on cores…just that spec-wise it isn’t new, which was my point.

          • Alvp

            What dick are U? Definitely Short!

          • DariusShortDick

            Very brilliant.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

      Keep reinventing the past to suit your arguments in the present. I’m sure no one will ever call you on it.

  • Loop

    As an iPhone user, it doesn’t make me question my choice. It makes me think, “Is that back-to-back trick the only feature they have?” It smells of desperation. It certainly doesn’t make me more likely to look at that phone. It also tries to come off like a real line with hidden cameras, but EVERYONE is so obviously an actor…and they’re bad actors too.

  • Marplesoft

    Apple did it’s fair share of making fun of Microsoft back in the day. I would say by the “PC” character they were somewhat making fun of Microsoft’s customers as well.

    But you walked away from those commercials thinking about Apple, not Microsoft. I agree that this Samsung ad spends way too much time on the iPhone itself. You end up walking away thinking more about Apple then Samsung.

    • Guest

      All the non techie people I know felt it was highlighting the PC’s deficiencies. Never once did it make fun of the users.

  • Mark LaViolette

    What it comes down to is sibiling rivalry. Ever heard from this from your little sister/brother, ” Mommy, Mommy. He is copying me, make him stop” who is really making fun of their customers is Apple themself saying that their typical customer is so dumb they can not tell the difference between the iPhone and a Samsung product. Every company has to copy in order to be inovative, we just never hear about on the national news.

    • varela

      “Everyone steals, but most aren’t caught.” Is that right? Pathetic.

    • Darius

      This makes me angry – “A company has to copy to innovate.”

      Lets look at the definition of the word ‘innovate’ (Miriam-Webster dictionary)

      1: the introduction of something new 2: a new idea, method, or device : novelty

      Key phrase – ‘a new idea, method or device’. So what you’re saying is that companies have to copy to create a new idea. Doesn’t really make any sense now does it?

    • Player_16

      Copy and innovation? Those two word are separate from each other. Copy. Copy. Copy. Innovate a copy? You can innovate (on) a copy but copying an innovation is not innovating.

  • lucascott

    If I was on the fence about Apple, or annoyed by the lines etc, this might make me think twice about getting an iPhone.

    But it wouldn’t make me run to get a Samsung. No clue how good it is or what it can do.

    And if I’m worried folks would see me as a loser idiot because I have an iPhone, I’m not going to want them to see my S3 and think I’m an asshole

  • highterrain

    Can’t afford either of them but if I could afford one of them I would probably buy a iPhone 5 since I hate asshole companies like Samsung.

  • Greg McQueen

    Apple people. For heaven’s sake, install the app that gives you sense of humour will you. I thought this fun. And the fact that we’re talking about it means it did its job.

  • Phil Vanderloo

    Why all the fuss? That’s how most politicians run their campaigns.

  • http://twitter.com/shycophante Shyco Phante

    How could you not make fun out of Apple’s most obsessed fans? I own and enjoy using a lot of Apple products but even I goof on the ridiculous fanboys on MacRumors and AppleInsider occasionally. I think the only people who will be offended by these ads are those who could picture themselves in the advertisement. They are never buying a Samsung phone. And they are worthy of ridicule.

    • D Pauw

      There comes a time in your life (hopefully) where you realize that mocking someone for enjoying something is a petty and largely a worthless action.

  • http://twitter.com/RoadRacer DT

    I mostly see this campaign resulting in a tiny contingent of anti-Apple mouth breathers swarming over various sites, posting LOL [Apple this] and LMAO [Apple that]. You should see the huge volume of troll traffic at Mac Rumors (at one point in an iPhone 5 thread, every post on the last page was the aforementioned +trollolies+ from users all registered in Sept …)

    Otherwise I don’t get the concept: these people who like this other product are just dimwits? They don’t even show the people reacting enthusiastically to Samsung, just staying line, moping – it’s just got a negative vibe, bad idea.

    Hell, I would imagine any product company in the world (Samsung included) would love to have people lined up outside their stores, waiting for days for a new product.

    • http://twitter.com/shycophante Shyco Phante

      The long MR threads are mostly filled with angry Apple fanatics claiming the latest ad has persuaded them never to buy a Samsung product again. When in reality, we both know these people are never buying any device that omits the precious Apple logo.

      I’d say Samsung are bang on target with their ads when they provoke such responses out of the Apple diehards. They are tapping a larger contingent of people who think Apple fanatics are blind zombies paying over the odds for average products.

      • Darwin

        Most buyers by far don’t concern themselves with such things. You are projecting.

      • Peter Cohen

        “They are tapping a larger contingent of people who think Apple fanatics are blind zombies paying over the odds for average products.”

        I’d contend that there is a larger-still contingent of customers which they’re totally ignoring, who genuinely don’t give a fuck about iOS vs Android.

        This is inside baseball, period.

      • http://www.sk1wbw.wordpress.com/ Wayne Williams

        Angry Apple fanatics? That’s funny. Every single solitary Apple related web domain that has a thread in the article about ANY Apple related product is infested with 5th grade level intelligent comments by Android fanboys. It’s quite fucking annoying not to be able to read a single Apple related or iPhone related article and not want to vomit at the responses by the Android army.

      • Player_16

        “They are tapping a larger contingent of people who think Apple fanatics…”

        If that’s true then why go this round-a-bout way of criticising a fringe element to get in contact to larger contingent? Your “blind zombies paying over the odds for average products” is your thought bubble of a personal jab -like this ad. There aren’t too many current ‘average products’ that exhibit exacting detail and design workmanship from the ground up like Apple products (Samsung does not come close). And to read into a site whose title that defines itself as ‘Rumor’ should raise the flag to anyone with intelligence by saying ‘info may be retrieved from dog; add salt’.

  • RG

    I love “you can send email while watching video”.

    Someone is losing out in that situation.

  • Cem

    Did anyone notice they call Galaxy S3, GS3? iPhone 3GS vs Samsung GS3. As if they are trying to say lawsuits wouldn’t stop us copying.

    It is very bad impression that poor placeholder Samsung guy couldn’t convice his parents to buy Samsung.

  • An Advertising Student

    This is Samsung’s strategy, and it’s a smart one at that. The purpose of these iPhone focused ads is that they want people to think of the GS3 when they think of an iPhone. Instead of a customer thinking “iPhone” and nothing else when they look to purchase their next phone, Samsung wants regular consumers to think “There’s an iPhone, a Galaxy, and a bunch of other phones”.

    And although their aggressive advertising style isn’t for everyone, it’ seems to be working.

    • Darwin

      Samsung makes a tiny percentage of Apples smartphone profits. They sell a lot because of pricing. Even their latest phones drop in price quickly.

      • Advertising Student

        Come on. Is the S3 price that much different than an iPhone. Correct me if I’m wrong, but with the iPhone life cycle, they start out at $199 on a 2 year contract, and then drop to $99 in a year when a new iPhone comes out. I’m sure the S3 & every other flagship phone employ a similar strategy.

        Not sure about how Samsung makes money off of iPhones relates to my post. There’s room for both to exist, and even if Galaxy sales were to eat at their iPhone profits (Which I think you may have been referring to) – I’m sure that they’re profit per Galaxy device is greater than the amount they make per iPhone.

  • Darwin

    First rule of advertising is don’t mention your competitors products.

    • Advertising Student

      I don’t know about that one. A few choices that you could pick as #1 (Knowing your target, refer to situations that your target has experienced, etc), but “not mentioning your competitor” wouldn’t be #1 on any list.

      Like it or not, Samsung’s strategy is working, and they’ve made tremendous progress in making a position for themselves in this smartphone industry.

      There is room for a phone to exist amongst the iPhone, and the Galaxy line has/is slowly becoming that.

  • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

    More preaching to the choir.

  • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

    Why so sensitive?

    The ads work. I was at my pops house and when it came in they laughed at pieces of it. My dad has an iPhone and he thought it was funny.

    I think the ads are very accurate. Whether they target customers (which I don’t think is the target) or Apple directly is irrelevant because the point gets across to the non-entrenched Apple users. They won’t convince Apple diehards but those on the fence it definitely does, I’ve seen it.

    • immovableobject

      The ads make fun of the lunatic fringe who line up for Apple product releases. The goal is to smear all iPhone owners as being silly. Fact is, iPhones are pretty dang nice, and you don’t have to be crazy to like them.

      I suppose if Apple wanted to stoop to their level, they could stereotype Android users as insecure spec-obsessed basement dwelling geeks who measure their manhood by their phone’s screen size, clock rate and number of ports.

      • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

        The “lunatic fringe” or “all iPhone owners”? Which one?

        • immovableobject

          The unstated subtext of the ad is that it is uncool to own an iPhone. After all, no one wants to be like those loser stereotypes in the queue. But you knew that.

          Few iPhone owners fit the profile of diehard fanatics who would line up outside the Apple store. Most iPhone owners love their phones and aren’t likely to give them up no matter how Samsung attempts to smear them.

          • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

            Agree on both points.

  • http://www.sk1wbw.wordpress.com/ Wayne Williams

    So how does touching phones in order to swap music playlists make one phone better than the other? Is the music playlist the new end all be all of a smartphone? Spec hungry Android users might think so, but iPhone users will continue to go on actually USING their iPhones and not just bragging about NFC, which you can’t use anywhere, or quad core Tegra’s or whatever, that apps can’t take advantage of…

  • http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/ Shawn King

    To be fair, I wouldn’t want to stand in line with those hipster douchebags either. :)

  • http://www.appleoutsider.de/ AppleOutsider.de – Sebastian P

    Samsung is successful with their strategy to copy Apple – and to make fun of them in their ads.

    They are virtually the only company in the smarthpone business that still makes money. They took 20% of all the smartphone profits last year.

    And you ask them to play nice. If nice gets you nothing (see HTC, Nokia and Sony) I would chose playing dirty any time.

    Besides, you should really read up on cronyism and corruption in South Korea. I would be irritated if Samsung would run a different strategy than this.

    • immovableobject

      So Samsung was more successful than other companies precisely because they copied Apple more closely? Then why shouldn’t customers want to skip the copies and go directly to the source? I suspect many do.

  • Boo

    Samsmug is butthurt and it is really starting to show.

    • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

      1) They ran the first one before Apple won. 2) They are the #1 mobile manufacturer in the world. (edit: no reason to be butt hurt at #2 or 3)

      I think they’re butt hurt over the loss but these commercials aren’t a reflection of such.

      • Boo

        They were butthurt before Apple won and yes, they have no reason to feel butthurt. There is nothing to be gained from ads like this.

        Its a huge market and it is more than big enough for both companies. I know lots of people who own devices from both companies and by and large they all love them.

        Both companies are huge successes and don’t need to sink to such arrogant stupidity.

        • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

          Can’t argue with that.

        • TomCrown

          Samsung takes the low road and Apple takes the high road which says everything about the culture of the companies.

  • Bal

    Go pc!! Wait, what?

  • Jack

    Samsung is not trying to convert Apple faithful, it’s trying to win over the people who don’t want an iPhone and are largely dissatisfied with the alternatives. These ads score big with existing Android users, and converts those who might instead have bought HTC, RIM or even Windows Phone. The want to be second place and they want to win it by a huge margin.

    • immovableobject

      If they are appealing to people who already don’t want an iPhone, what’s the point of spending time making fun of Apple customers? Shouldn’t Samsung be putting down other brands of phones (both Android and Windows)? Those would be the remaining competition.

    • feedback12

      This is an excellent point though for all intents and purposes Samsung is the #1 phone maker in the world.

      And their Apple strategy may work well. But the competition is more than just Apple now. WP8 has brought out some rather creative designs from Nokia and HTC. On the Android front, LG Optimus specs have leapfrogged S3. The Asus-made Nexus is outselling their tablet.

      In focusing all its efforts on Apple they are being blind sided

  • Brzilian

    Long time Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad user here. I think the ad is spot on. Tired of arbitrarily getting screwed out of newer iOS features which are technically capable of running on my hardware. Also tired of Apple crawling while the competition moves forward. Love my Nexus 7 and plan on passing on the iPhone 5 for Android instead. I consider myself the original target demographic who “Thought Different”. Don’t feel like Apple wants me anymore with the products they have put out over the past year.

    • campcamp

      have you ever seen anyone bump Galaxy s3s in public? And ribbing on iphone 5 hardware is like ribbing on themselves.

      Samsung fabs the new custom processor on all iPhone 5′s.

      What exactly are they making fun of? Also, Samsung makes like 15% of iPhone screens too right?

    • immovableobject

      Got news for you, Android phone owners who have been deprived of OS updates also don’t get the newest features.

  • AG

    What I don’t get is who is Samsung’s target audience here.

    Is it existing iPhone users or existing Galaxy users?

  • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

    I think of these commercials in the same way I think about Microsoft’s mock funeral for the iPhone.

    Which is to say, they are only good for a laugh and will otherwise have no lasting effect.

  • feedback12

    Think Samsung is trying to embarass iPhone users into buying a Samsung. The result is actually net negative as it has created an army of Samsung snobs who are very comfortable calling their own friends and family “sheep” on Facebook. Which I always find borders on high school cyberbulling.

    However one gets the feeling that it’s a complex. Samsung will never be Apple in the same way Hyundai will never be Mercedes. Their corporate goals and the masters they serve are very different.

  • Christopher Levin

    If I were Apple I’d just lift all those chip and display orders and place them in other companies, let’s see if Samsung likes losing x number of billions of dollars.

    It would probably start an internal fight in Samsung where the photo copiers at Samsung mobile is getting chewed up by Samsung electronics for making them lose billions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529613446 facebook-529613446

    Actually the ad totally makes sense, it’s trying to portray the iPhone as the ‘hipster’ phone. i.e. the only reason it’s cooler than Samsung is because hipsters say it is. They, quite rightly, highlight the new features that Samsung phones already have (bigger screen, LTE) while conveniently ignoring what the iPhone does better (battery life, app ecosystem, better user experience and countless other things).

    I believe it strikes a nerve here because yes, they are mocking the Apple ‘faithful’. Regular Joe Blow isn’t going to go stand in line for hours to purchase a new phone and they don’t understand the people that do. And the type of people that do stand in line, those guys would probably never even consider a Samsung phone – so it’s no skin of their nose.

    I offer my comments here as an Apple fan, but also someone who was in advertising for a good few years. Also, I guarantee the majority of people involved in making this ad own an iPhone. And all of them probably own Macs.

    • Rodney King

      Dear iOS and android users please see the Bump app. Very similar features to Samsung’s product but its cross platform….

      Can’t we all just get along?

      Signed RK

  • http://twitter.com/gnomehole The Gnome

    My initial thoughts were of the Mac vs. PC commercial as well. There is a difference, though slight. I was a “PC” back then and got a kick out of the commercials. They weren’t directly attacking me or calling me out as a sheep… ok they maybe were calling me out as being an old school PC user unable to “think different” but it wasn’t so direct.

    I think one of the most effective commercial campaigns ever run.

    Samesung is going after #2. They are a joke. They copy and they insult… but hey, they have their fans fooled into thinking they do nothing but innovate while apple does nothing but litigation… maybe their fans are the bigger joke.