Opinion: Samsung Super Bowl Advertisement Lacked Substance and Spark

Filed under Editorials by Adam on February 6, 2012 at 2:00 AM
Samsung Super Bowl Commercial

Samsung Super Bowl Commercial

If you were one of more than 100 million fans watching the New England Patriots lose to the New York Giants on Super Bowl Sunday, you might have seen the Samsung commercial advertising their new Galaxy Note. The device just opened up for pre-orders on AT&T’s 4G LTE network today.

Samsung reportedly spent upwards of six million dollars on the ad spot. Analysts predicted that Samsung’s advertisement would have the greatest Impact Media Value gain in pure dollar amounts. The South Korean powerhouse expects to grab 18.6 million dollars worth of bang for their advertising buck on Sunday.

But, did Samsung capture their audience? After watching the ad, I’d have to say that Samsung completely dropped the ball. Watch the advertisement below.


The commercial spot, titled “Thing Called Love” lacked both an emotional or comical spark and the necessary substance to achieve its objectives. Samsung’s objectives: make consumers fall “in love” with Samsung, question the iPhone’s perceived supremacy. I don’t have a problem with Sammy’s objectives in this advertisement. They’re going exactly where they should go… taking the knife right to their biggest competitor and cutting down their star product.

The problems arise when you take a closer look at the means of accomplishing Samsung’s commercial goals. Samsung’s marketing team decided to poke fun at Apple consumers who are overly enthusiastic about the iPhone.

Fatal Flaws

  • Samsung wants to win over the same customers that they’re ridiculing in the commercial. First rule of marketing: don’t cut down your prospective customers.
  • Samsung wants us to fall in love with their brand in the same way that consumers are in love with Apple. Yet, Samsung makes fun of folks who love one company over another. The argument in the commercial for Apple customers: loving a company enough to stand in line for their product is insane. You should shop around and make sure their aren’t better products.
  • Samsung: waiting around for the next Apple iProduct makes you miss out on great stuff (ie. the big game or Galaxy Note). Of course, we wouldn’t mind if you were waiting for our product.

Aside from the above fatal flaws, there is one basic flaw that undermine Samsung’s efforts. Samsung failed to demonstrate exactly why the Galaxy Note completely outdoes the iPhone 4S. The commercial highlights the Note’s stylus, camera, and video calling capabilities. But, it fails to hammer those points home.

The comments about the stylus: “Whoa! It has a pen?” I wish Samsung told us all of the reasons a stylus would be useful. My iPhone-toting friends’ first thoughts when seeing the pen in the commercial: “Why would you want a pen for your phone? When would you ever use that?” Samsung should have shown off the Note’s handwriting or drawing abilities in a way that communicates its purpose and usefulness.

Then there are vague and quick references to the Galaxy Note’s front-facing and back-facing cameras— a short shot of someone placing a video call, cut in between clips of folks recording themselves partying. But, cameras? Every modern smartphone on Earth has cameras.

Samsung had a lot of potential avenues for exploiting the Galaxy Note’s pluses over the iPhone 4S. The Galaxy Note has 4G LTE speeds up to ten times faster than 3G speeds. Its operating system— Android— has an application store that nearly matches the app availability of the App Store. The screen’s massive. And, by God, it’s  freaking high-definition!

Furthermore, the “Thing Called Love” commercial failed to pull heart strings. Unlike Samsung’s first American Galaxy S II commercial, an emotional response to “Thing Called Love” was nowhere to be found.

Watch “The Way We’re Wired” below to see what I’m talking about. I get the chills every time.

Now, if the commercial was hilarious, this would be a different story. A comedic response may be just as good as an emotional one. But, I don’t think many people were laughing too hard at “Thing Called Love.” The funniest part of the advertisement was Samsung poking at iPhone line-standers. But, they already ruined that joke by airing a plethora of other commercials with it. The rest of the commercial was a fun-fest with The Darkness, dancing, and phones dropping out of the sky. Sure, it was “out there.” But, was it that funny?

Samsung disappointed me on Sunday. I expected emotion, comedy, details, and a persuasive argument. But, all I got was a “Thing Called Love.”

2 responses to “Opinion: Samsung Super Bowl Advertisement Lacked Substance and Spark”

  1. Lynn Anderson says:

    A lot of great points. Great piece Kennth!!!

  2. Noel Kunz says:

    I agree. As an Advertising major in college I agree. But here’s the ONE thing I have to say: My best friend is an Apple specialist (I know, polar opposites but best friends right?) and the whole time during that commercial he had his arms crossed and he had nothing to say. Why? Because he really likes the device and can’t because of his work (he loves the screen size and the VERY responsive stylus, which is what he told me later). So, was the ad effective as a commercial? Not really. But did it make an impact on one of my close Apple Fanboy friends? Oh yeah, because the product itself is dope!