Anti-iPhone ads told a “cheeky story,” allowed Samsung to “really mess with the order of things”

by: Chris SmithAugust 13, 2013


In an interview, a Samsung exec admitted that the anti-iPhone ad campaign was overall beneficial for the company by getting the discussion going and helping Samsung’s mobile brand to mature.

Talking to AdNews, Samsung Australia’s chief marketing officer Arno Lenior said that while the ads from the “The Next Big Thing Is Already Here” ad campaign weren’t necessarily the best, they were definitely successful at telling a “cheeky story,” signaling “Samsung’s coming of age as a brand:”

[quote qtext=”That really did mark quite a tipping point for us globally. We were able to tell a cheeky story – if you think about it, we’re a Korean company starting to really mess with the order of things.

We’ve been able to do some good things from that (campaign). The interesting thing about it from my perspective is that some of it is not the best work you’ve ever seen, some of it is the best work you’ve ever seen, but it’s getting people talking, that’s what I really love about it.

You’ve got fanboys after fanboys going, ‘You can’t put that out there’, and then the Samsung fans saying, ‘Yes, you can’, and they’re starting to have that conversation, which is brilliant. So that piece of content has been amazing for us, both globally and here in Australia.” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

In recent years, Samsung released a variety of anti-iPhone ads in which it made fun of Apple and iPhone users (see one such example from last year embedded below). While the policy of making fun of potential customers received some criticism, the ads became viral, getting millions of hits on YouTube – last year, the most watched tech ad was a Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5 ad.

Unlike in previous years though, Samsung now appears to have dialed down its anti-iPhone campaign, with various of its recent ads focusing only on its new products rather than taking distinct hits at the competition.

On top of these ads, let’s not forget that Samsung spends a fortune every year – and growing – on marketing its mobile devices, which partly explains why the company is currently the top smartphone maker by volume.

At the same time, the company is investing in research and development – $11 billion in 2012, matching the marketing budget for the same year – and in capital expenditure projects ($21.5 billion in 2012).

Interestingly, Lenior said that he believes the public doesn’t see Samsung “as a market leader just yet,” but more of a challenger. He further added that the company will continue to act as a challenger even in markets that it’ll dominate, in order to make sure it survives on the long run.

  • Ryan

    They definitely did get people talking, I know lots of people that saw it as the flagship android phone.

    • bungadudu

      Which it actually is…?!

      Top specs, fast updates (reasonably), big battery, SD card, replaceable battery, easy to root and revert to stock – great community support, a lot of gimmicks, much of it useful things that should be implemented in stock android, security (first to come with SE Linux, first with “find my phone” like app implemented as stock) etc.

      It is basically the flagship android phone…?!

      • mikegonzalez2k

        Agreed the GS4’s 1.9 Ghz Quadcore Snapdragon 600 puts most other processors to shame. It’s been Geekbenched as 2x as the A6x in the iPhone5.

        With a CPU like that, it’s definitely one of top Android phones, in my opinion it is hands down the best.

        The only other thing that will beat it’s processor is when Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 get’s placed into the next Android phone. Then we’ll start seeing 2.3 Ghz processors which is crazy.

        • Ryan

          Ummm the Snapdragon 800 is already in at least one Android phone, the LG G2.

          • rey

            also Xperia Z Ultra

      • shenz

        No, the current Nexus phone (the GNex at the time) is the flagship android phone, as they are the only phones released with the ‘true’ version of android.

    • ijKs

      Android would never have got to where it is at without Samsung, and vise versa. So yes, Samsung is the flagship Android phone/tablet manufacturer as of right now. Will they be in the future? Time will tell.

  • Bone

    You’re Goddamn right!

  • Solomon Hwang

    Can i also add that Facebook is another great marketing platform for Samsung… The USA Samsung Mobile Facebook page alone has 23 million followers. I’m sure other countries have as much followers. I frequently get my news on new Samsung innovations and products the company makes through their page. The page also likes to engage the followers by posting statuses with questions and professional ad photos to get the readers thinking and wondering.

    Apple doesn’t have a Facebook page unfortunately for some reason. Their missing out on free marketing, and at this point every strategy matters.

    • deepen03

      and their Reps actually REPLY to our posts!

  • Piyush

    So now when samsung is marketing its not brain washing but when apple use to market with bigger budget many were saying its brainwashing consumer .Specially AA not joking at all.

    • Solomon Hwang

      There’s a difference between ‘presenting the truth’ and ‘brainwashing’.

      • Piyush

        yeah fake benchmark , s3 and s4 are same , less storage space, making fun of consumer and how is apple brainwashing.Android is great no doubt in that , but sometimes anit apple get off the hook ,thats why i am saying.

        • Solomon Hwang

          Well you’re presenting a different question here. You first asked ‘How is Samsung not considered brainwashing?’ but now you’re asking why Apple is considered brainwashing. We’re not getting anywhere with this kind of confusion. Also we’re talking about marketing strategies not questions to who has what stats. A fake benchmark would be a fault on Samsung’s side but it is still fast and that’s the info that was presented on the ads – the fact that it is faster than an iPhone. Even if S3 and S4 were to be the same as long as the ads present it as a superior device over the iPhone, the facts are well stated as truth. As for the less storage capacity – again, this is a spec you’re stating not a ‘brainwashing’ quote used by Samsung.

          • Piyush

            lets leave it , you are not getting the point and i dont want start flamewar ,sorry for what i commented.

          • Solomon Hwang

            Well this is a forum where points are supposed to be made and where discussions are formed by conflicting viewpoints and opinions. I don’t think you’re getting the point of this site.

    • Anthony Walker

      Who said Apple was brainwashing people?

      • gommer strike

        No one said that.

        Apple’s advertising techniques are different, but dare I say, better in the sense that they go straight for your heart strings. Come on, how many of you didn’t sort of sniffle when you saw that ad of the little girl singing happy birthday to her grandpa on the iPad?

        This kinda stuff is genius. Apple doesn’t even need to talk about their product. They just *show* you, and make you feel awwwww.

        • Anthony Walker

          I don’t watch TV so I’ve never seen the ad but it sounds like something any tablet can do.

          • mumusen


        • Solomon Hwang

          Agree with Anthony. It’s kinda vague to just say Apple “goes straight for your heart strings.” If it’s an ‘illusion’ that you want, any company can do what apples does – make those heart-touching ads. Samsung avoids the fakeness and illusions to ‘brainwash’ their customers and goes straight to the truth.

          • gommer strike

            The same way that any company can use the same ad agency that Apple uses. The point I’m making here is – Apple doesn’t talk about specs in their ads. They just show people experiencing the device, and not shove the device in your face and rattle off the specs. Any company can do that.

            But what Samsung does do and have, is an enormous marketing budget, which paid off. It doesn’t matter how good or bad their ads are. They’re just there, and there’s so many of them. All they need to do is get the Galaxy brand going, cleverness be damned.

          • Solomon Hwang

            “They show people experiencing the device” – do you think this is a good thing? It’s up to the users to determine their own experience but Apple implements an idea that may not be true, or that may be false, or may be kind of ‘brainwashingy’. I’d rather have a funny, spec-detailed ad than one that fancies on romance over a device that people don’t even know any spec about. “Aww that ad was so sweet. Maybe I’ll feel as gay when I buy it. I have to buy it now,” says You. “Wow, those are some good specs, I should buy it,” says I.

            And exactly – Samsung TRIES hard to market their device. Nothing wrong with that. Apple has more than enough money to market their company like Samsung. Their fault, their loss.

  • oli72

    classics ads.

  • Clarkkent113

    Touchwich has needed an overhaul for years, but especially now.

    It has completely laggified (yes, I made this word up) my quad-core Note 2. I’m ready for pure android in my life.