Samsung Shows Lack of Class in Latest Galaxy S II Commercial

Samsung Shows Lack of Class in Latest Galaxy S II Commercial

As someone pointed out in response to the Galaxy Nexus commercial – that was made by Google, which is why it was excellent. Now we get one for the Galaxy S II made by Samsung … and it is NOT.

Back in the 80’s Apple produced two infamous commercials – 1984 and Lemmings. They are well known by name more than 25 years later for very different reasons: 1984 showed a single person striking out against tyranny to choose her own path and give others the opportunity to make their own choices as well.

Lemmings was infamous for … well, calling PC users a bunch of mindless idiots.

Which is pretty much what the new Samsung ad does.

Take a look:

What many are saying in reply is that it is no worse than the ‘I’m a Mac / I’m a PC’ commercials from Apple. The issue, however, is one of focus – the John Hodgemen / Justin Long commercials were comparing two DEVICES and features about products.

The Samsung commercial is all about the users – iPhone users are standing around in line while the Samsung people are all DOING stuff. This says iPhone users are posers. The early part of the commercial has people getting basic information about the device even after standing in line for 9 hours, which is delivered in a sneering, condescending manner – the commercial is saying that Apple customers are such moronic sheep they have no idea what they are buying, but will stand for hours to buy it.

The ultimate problem is that while there are a couple of shots of actual devices, the focus is clearly on sending a clear message about iPhone users – saying that the #1 smartphone in the world only got that way because the people who buy it are idiots who are Lemmings.

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

27 Comments on "Samsung Shows Lack of Class in Latest Galaxy S II Commercial"

  1. Gammon and spinach.  Clearly  the I’m a Mac / I’m a PC was less about the features, as denoted by the very obvious manner in which Mac users are portrayed as cool young hipsters and PC users are bumbling unattractive middle-aged milquetoast users.  Apple’s commercials have historically portrayed non-Apple users in an unflattering light and Apple users as creative, young and trendy.  It’s quite clever marketing from my perspective seeing someone poke fun at the self-created Apple stereotype. If such is considered classless, then surely Apple’s commercials over the decades are equally guilty.

  2. I have to say, I saw the ad last night and I found it rather amusing. And let’s face it, the Mac vs PC bit had Apple played by a young good looking guy and PC played by… Well a guy who was not young and good looking. Those were “gloves are off” commercials albeit a bit more subtle. The Samsung ad made me laugh but yes, I did think to myself, “I represent that.” 🙂
    My name is Dan and, yes, I am a lemming.

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Maybe I am just older than you by enough that I disagree … but I do.

    Thing is, I thing Justin Long’s portrayal to show Apple users as not just young and hip, but also as arrogant hipsters who are pretentious smartasses, whereas John Hodgeman was representative of most business users – and due to his tremendous comedic skills (especially compared to Long) he was more insightful and obviously more intelligent … he just had to deal with Windows.  And considering these ads were around the time of the worst OS in recent history (Vista), it was an easy target.

    Those commercials might have had contrasting people, but the core was about the products.  That just isn’t even arguably the case here – the only two things mentioned are bigger screen and 4G antenna, but without any depth.  

    The purpose of the commercial is to call Apple users stupid.  Plain and simple.

    Perhaps that is what is needed in our dumbed down society. 

  4. Visually you could make the case they are in line for the Black Friday sales.  What I heard were customers noticing battery issues for the newest device and unchanged look of the new device.  You can only assume they are cell phone customers because of the words “upgraded” and “4G”  Then I heard these device customers notice the look of the Samsung, 4G connectivity of the Samsung, and the screen size of the Samsung, which I believe are called features.  The argument that it is an iPhone line happens only because of the repeated example of iPhone customers doing exactly what the adds shows, which is to stand in line and wait for a new device that has some features that another phone may give better results and that they are noticing the new Samsung phone.  

    Ironically I think it is bold for an android device to mention anything about battery life.

  5. “Ironically I think it is bold for an android device to mention anything about battery life.”

    When you step back a bit and think about it there is something a bit nutty about standing in line all night or waking up at 2am to Pre-order a device. Not saying I won’t be doing it going forward… I will, but it does open a bunch of us up to some criticism.

    Sent from my iPad

  6. The iPhone is definitely shown.  And those ‘features’ … well, they are generic at best.  And more hilarious still is remarking on the look of the Samsung when it is a proven iPhone clone.

  7. Agreed – I am definitely not a ‘stand in line’ type of person, really nuts some of these camp-out things!  I remember waiting outside the Best Buy for the PSP Launch – it was ~20 degrees and snowy … but I was in my car and there were 5 of us total.  🙂  Aside from that the only ‘wait in line’ thing we did was for our kids to get a Wii with their combined Christmas money.

  8. As a matter of trivia I’m in my 40s…

    That aside, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, Michael, because I didn’t take from the commercial that Apple users are stupid by virtue of using an Apple product.  I think stevenshytle below is spot on: “The argument that it is an iPhone line happens only because of the
    repeated example of iPhone customers doing exactly what the adds shows,
    which is to stand in line and wait for a new device that has some
    features that another phone may give better results and that they are
    noticing the new Samsung phone.” This is think is the crux of the matter.

    FWIW, I don’t think Apple (iPhone) users are stupid, nor do I think you or Dan are lemmings.  I wouldn’t be hanging around here were that the case. 🙂  Clearly Apple’s products, e.g. the iPhone, resonate with a large segment of society. One could argue that it is the result of a lemming effect, but I think it more accurate to say that the product in question met a market need and commanded a lead from the get-go for that reason. Michael is right though:  a lot of Android features, or at least the GUI features, are copies of iPhone/iPod Touch features.  By the way, I work in the tech marketing segment…and one thing I’ve observed is that iPhones/iPads are rapidly becoming the gold standard for mobile marking apps and websites.  That to me speaks volumes.

  9. I’m sticking with the fact that, while the ad tries to insult people like… Like Me… I laughed and remembered it. THAT is the sign of a good ad. Got to hand it to Samsung.
    Sent from my iPad

  10. Thing is – I am an Android smartphone user, and have never owned an iPhone.  Sure I own Apple products, but my non-Apple stuff greatly outnumbers my Apple stuff.  

    But I have seen through the many years Apple users called stupid – in the 90s by PC users, and now by Android users.  And to be honest, to me that says more about THEM than anything else.

  11. Mike,
    Get an iPhone. You are stupid not to. Lol

    Sent from my iPad

  12. Careful Mike…he got to me, he will get to you too.

  13. As soon as it has non-sucky GPS and apps like TouchDown for my work email I will consider it … oh, and a QWERTY hardware keyboard!  Other than those non-negotiables I am ready 🙂

  14. “As a matter of trivia I’m in my 40s…”

    As another matter of trivia Hodgeman is younger than us! 😀

  15. Woot. Another droid sees the light. Mooohahahahah

    Sent from my iPad

  16. Mike- gps works fine. Keyboards are irrelevant thanks to Siri. Come into 2011 before it is over… Seriously.
    Sent from my iPad

  17. >”But I have seen through the many years Apple users called stupid – in the 90s by PC users, and now by Android users.”

    It goes both ways, but remember, opinions are like the distal ends of alimentary canals…everybody’s got one (unless they are imperforate).   The Samsung ad is marketing…but is it really libelous? What’s curious to me is that Dan, a self-described “target” of the ad, seems to be taking it more in stride than you, Michael…and remember, the more “controversy” Samsung’s ad generates, the more press Samsung gains.

  18. I’m just now starting to get a gray hair or two…I think the microwave radiation and close proximity to computers has delayed my aging.

  19. Absolutely agree!  🙂  I guess I’ve spent too much time in PC gaming forums over the last couple of decades and therefore tend to see a one-sided view of things.

    I thought the Lemmings commercial was insulting just like this one.  I thought the Mac vs. PC ones were clever and subtle in ways this one definitely is not, but like I say part of that was what I saw as negative Mac user stereotypes personified through Justin long.

    I’m not personally affronted by this … just pointing out what I see as a lack of class.  But this IS Samsung, the company who used illegal dumping to kill the US memory market in the 80’s and 90’s, whose own lawyers couldn’t distinguish the iPad and Galaxy Tab from 10 ft away, and has regularly lied and misrepresented their tablet sales in order to get more PR for market share they didn’t really have … so lack of class in commercials is certainly the least of their issues! 😀

  20. That’s an interesting perspective. I remember the memory dumping bit.  I do know that South Korean companies tend to operate under a different set of business ethics than their Western counterparts. 

  21. Its interesting.  I never thought of Apple’s Mac vs.. PC ads as being a young, stylish smartass vs a stodgy, older guy – I always thought the two guys were supposed to be kind of stylized, distilled versions of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and be representative of those viewpoints.    Amazing how we all take away different things from the same campaign.

    Also – I agree with Dan – there’s nothing sucky about the iPhone GPS – it works just fine!  And Touchdown?  Feh!  I have way more MS Exchange sync problems on my Android device using Touchdown than I do on my iPhone!   It regularly stops syncing on my Evo and the only solution seems to be to delete the acct and recreate it (on the Evo)! I think Touchdown is kind of like lipstick on a Pig – the pig being Android’s poor MS Exchange interaction.  At least Apple LICENSED that technology from MS instead of trying to (poorly) replicate it!  (Yes, folks, of you don’t like the way iPhones interact with MS Exchange you can actually point some of the blame directly at MS!)  Exchange mail/calendar has been very reliable on my iPhone – and no one was more surprised by that than me!


  22. This ad is awesome!

  23. I have to say that I laughed out loud at this comment from the commercial…..  “How are people going to know I upgraded?”  Genius! 🙂

  24. The comparison with Apple’s “Lemmings” commercial is so apt when looking at the Samsung ad in question.  Both of these ads make me wonder: “What is the purpose of the advertisement?”

    There is no question that both ads are insulting.  One compares PC users to mindless lemmings, the other portrays iPhone users as clueless posers.  One would assume that ads are created in order to convince potential customers to purchase the advertised products.  It would seem counterproductive, then, to be insulting to the very market one is trying to woo.

    I am reminded of Howard Wolowitz from The Big Bang Theory where he employs a strategy for picking up “chicks” at a bar by using “negs” to “put an attractive woman off her game” like telling her, “Normally, I’m not attracted to women with big teeth…”

    It didn’t work out so well for Wolowitz or Apple Computer, and I think Samsung will likely fare the same.

  25. Yet here we are speaking about it, the companies and heir products. 🙂
    Sent from my iPad

  26. That was good, but I thought that the comment “I’m too creative to get a Samsung.” “Dude, you’re a barista.” was even better.

    It’s just an ad. I thought that this ad was 100% better than all of the sill Verizon Droid ads. They are so dopey.

  27. I think that there is a large population of iPhone owners who are just normal people who would never line up to buy the latest iPhone when it comes out, who don’t make their primary decision to buy a phone just to be hip or cool. I know that Apple does not market the iPhone that way, but this Samsung ad is not marketed to counter Apple marketing. I think it’s trying to appeal to people who are considering an iPhone (or other smartphone) purchase, who just might think about an Android phone rather than the iPhone, and who would be willing to step into an AT&T Wireless store to look at the two phones side by side rather than make their purchase at an Apple Store or online without even looking at the Samsung phone.

    It’s actually very similar to the ad strategy of the Hodgman/Long Mac ads of a few years ago – target the people who are familiar with Windows and open to looking at something else. Those ads were never targeted at the Windows zealots who would never buy a Mac, who are also the ones who took great exception to what they thought was a parody of themselves. Like those ads, anybody who is being parodied in this Samsung ad – particularly a great number of people who always lines up for the latest iPhone when it is released – will never consider the Samsung Galaxy S2. This ad is not targeted at them.

    As I said earlier, I much prefer an ad like this to one like the dumb Verizon Droid brand ads, such as the Bionic ads from a few months ago and the current Razr ads, which I just scratch my head trying to figure out who are finding them appealing. (Of course, this is being typed by somebody who bought a Droid 3, but only because it was the best phone to fit my needs, rather than because of any marketing campaign.)

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