Iceland Galaxy S4 ad is the weirdest anti-iPhone Samsung commercial yet

by: Chris SmithJuly 5, 2013
Galaxy S4 Iceland

Screenshot from latest Galaxy S4 ad | Image Credit: Samsung Iceland

A recently released Galaxy S4 ad in Iceland is arguably the weirdest anti-Apple ad made by the company.

Unlike with previous marketing efforts, especially for the Galaxy S3, Samsung mainly focused on showing Galaxy S4 features in its TV commercials. Sure, there have been hits at iPhone users here and there, but not to the same extent as in previous marketing campaigns.

Samsung Iceland seems to think it’s worth diverting from the general Galaxy S4 ad direction with this latest ad release called Sími sem skilur þig, which is roughly translated to “phones that separate you.”

While the iPhone isn’t actually present in the video – spoiler alert – there are lots and lots of apples around a buyer looking for a new handset. The buyer is clearly not happy with the apples, and he can’t make out what they’re intended for. That’s when the Galaxy S4 comes to the rescue, and you’d think that’s nothing weird about the ad so far.

Enter strange (ninja?) dancers and a sheep. In the previous Galaxy S3 campaign that targeted the iPhone, Samsung also made fun of potential buyers who were using iPhones, and one would easily think that theme is back with this particular choice of animals. But what’s the point really?

Samsung Iceland’s message wanted to be simple: you should get a phone that understands you (that’s what the ad says at one point, also from Google translated Icelandic), but the second part of the commercial really ruins everything.

Not to mention that, at the end of the day, there’s just one Galaxy S4 in a sea of apples. The image above, taken from the official site, shows a Galaxy S4 owner surrounded by 17 apples. Is the ad subliminally telling us the Galaxy S4 is not selling as well as predicted, as recent reports seem to suggest?

Last year’s Galaxy S3 ads, no matter how negative they were towards Apple and iPhone buyers, were among the most watched online ads. And they were way funnier!

Samsung spent close to $12 billion on marketing its Galaxy line of products last year, and we’d assume its marketing budget is even bigger this year, considering that it increased from year to year. But hopefully ads like the Icelandic one will not appear that often.

  • MasterMuffin

    The message of this ad: Samsung is a sheep? At the ending it says that “Samsung is…” and then they show a sheep :D

    • OMGgary

      It says
      “dot is”
      Iceland web domains are .is like you have .fi for Finland

      • MasterMuffin

        oops I missed the “.” :) Anyways the add is so absurd that can you prove that the message isn’t that? :D

        • OMGgary

          It’s hard to know what they were smoking when they made this. Perhaps the message is as Mister Mackay from South Park would say:
          “Drugs are baaad, mmmmkay”

    • Friðberg Leifs Jensson

      They put the sheep because sheep are an Icelandic icon. There is a Mercedes Benz commercial and they had flock of sheep and one black sheep. The black sheep meant the Benz car they were commercializing.

  • George Av

    EPIC AD :D

  • Sudeepto Dutta

    Don’t be an iSheep … :D

    (Hint: Google iSheep)

  • Daniel DS

    Dafuq did I just watch? o.o

  • Steini Jónsson

    Sími sem skilur þig, which is roughly translated to “phones that separate you.”

    This is not correct.
    It actually means… “A phone that understands you”.
    Meaning… you can actually switch it to the Icelandic language.

    If I’m not mistaking ,you can actually switch any recent Android phone to Icelandic…

    • Friðberg Leifs Jensson

      When I read the article and saw the video I thought to my self they used Google translate.

  • sveinntryggva

    I believe the ad is pointing out the fact that the S4 can do speech-to-text in Icelandic (in addition to the UI being available in icelandic) which is one of many features that Samsung/Android has that iPhone does not. The tagline says: “A phone that understands you”. I like it, but then again, I didn’t get lost in translation… ;)

  • Árni Gunnar Ellertsson

    it’s translation is phone that understand’s you :)

  • bondosho

    Props on using the Dreamcast power on animation’s sound effects, lol. Other than that, this is pretty dumb.

  • TGJ

    It means that you can talk to the phone in Icelandic. It understands Icelandic.

  • Mike Palmer

    I loved the isheep at the end, nice touch Samsung. Over all was a crazy ad but then again it was for Iceland so maybe it’s not so crazy for them dunno.

  • smith derek

    Editor seems hurt too much eh? lol

  • Jeremy

    The point of many apples surrounding one galaxy s 4 is not to show that the galaxy s 4 is selling less than expected rather to point out that all apple devices are the same no matter which model you buy (for the most part at least). Samsung offers multiple choices from mini to mega. When buying Samsung devices you get variety rather the same old apple. “End commercial with comical ISheep.” Lol

  • It speaks alienish!

  • End in sight


    ok so typed “what is the weather” on google translate on my laptop and then played that in Icelandic and had my Nexus 7 listening. The Nexus 7 did not understand.

    Crap, what will I do when I swich to talking exclusively to my tablet in Icelandic?… which I hope to do in 2014…just, for fun.

  • Simon Fearby

    Does the voice translation some with samsung trojan horse JayZ style spyware? Looks like NSA spooks dancing around the guy at the end of the video.

  • eplacider

    Isn’t the whole ninja dancing thing about the quad-core?