While Samsung does not think Apple can compete in the television market (and it is not alone), the company is moving aggressively to win over Apple’s fan base with the now infamous ‘Samsunged’ campaign— a cornerstone of the South Korean conglomerate’s communications strategy. So, who is behind those pesky adverts? Director Bobby Farrelly, who is the brother of movie director Peter Farrelly of the “There’s Something About Mary,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Kingpin fame.”
However, it was Samsung’s ad agency 72andSunny that hired Farrelly to film a series of anti-Apple adverts depicting bored Apple fans waiting in line for a new iPhone. The mocking began last November and culminated with a 90-second Super Bowl commercial for the 5.3-inch Galaxy Tab device with a stylus. An interesting profile by AdWeek revealed some of the secrets and tactics marketers use to talk iPhone fans into considering Samsung products for their next gadget.
For starters: The washed-out look of the commercials was purposefully unsaturated and a bit milky, because the tone visually embodies the boredom of waiting in line. Apple fans depicted as hipsters are another subtle trick to suggest that trendy folks are always on the lookout for “the next big thing.” The choice of music also helped convey the message, such as The Darkness’s 2003 rock anthem “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” for the 90-second Super Bowl advert. Samsung aired that commercial post-Super Bowl in 60-second and 30-second cut downs, but the agency noted there are no new executions because the campaign wrapped up.
Treading the fine line between insult and controversy, the agency’s Creative Director Bryan Rowles went through a series of iterations before stumbling upon an idea calling for dry sense of humor:
We had to find that dry sense of humor, being smart at the same time as being kind of dumb. I think in the end what happened was, Apple fans were like, ‘Yeah, we’re kinda like that.’ And people who aren’t Apple fans were like, ‘Yeah, Apple fans are like that.’
So, who exactly at Samsung was responsible for the anti-Apple campaign in the first place? Meet Younghee Lee, Samsung’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, who at CES sat down with AllThingsD’s Ina Fried to talk marketing. She acknowledged that people everywhere, especially in the United States, “are obsessed” with all things Apple. Therefore, the time has come “to change people’s attention.”
A new campaign was born and choosing Samsung Mobile was not coincidental. After all, Lee noted, “Mobile can be a symbol of who you are,” which in turn leads “a lot of people to believe ‘what I have in my hands is me.’”
For your information, Lee worked for cosmetics brands L’Oreal, Lancôme, and she joined Samsung 4.5 years ago when she was challenged to change how consumers think of Samsung products that were typically marketed and advertised to geeks and not ordinary consumers:
I bravely took this position. Nobody was talking about consumer languages. I saw the huge potential there. I tried to interpret our difficult technology into consumer languages.
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