When Apple announced the iPhone 5 this past Fall, marketing executives from Samsung were keeping tabs on the unveiling in real time, this according to a January profile of Samsung in Fortune magazine.
They huddled around tables mounted with laptops and TV screens, carefully tracking each new feature and monitoring the gush of online comments on the new device via blogs and social media sites. As the data flowed in, writers from the company's advertising agency, who were also camped out in the restaurant turned war room, scrambled to craft a response.
The end result was a series of ads mocking many of the iPhone's new features while simultaneously mocking the cliched archetype of the Apple fanboy/hipster.
With the recent release of the Galaxy S4, Samsung has once again taken it upon itself to poke fun at the iPhone 5's "limitations" by pointing out the bevy of cool features that come standard on the S4.
The commercial starts out innocently enough; a High School graduation party with tasty ribs and a fun-loving graduate jumping fully clothed into a pool.
From there, the focus turns to how cool the Galaxy S4 is. For instance, the graduate, with hands messy from BBQ-laden ribs, is able to answer his phone via an "air gesture." Later in the commercial, an iPhone user frustratingly tries to do the same, albeit with no success.
The ad also showcases the Galaxy S4's ability to quickly and wirelessly transfer files -- in this case a photo -- with other Galaxy smartphones via Samsung's S Beam functionality. An iPhone user who wants in on the photo sharing is left dejected.
"So some smartphones are smarter than other smartphones?" an iPhone user later asks. "What are we doing with these things?", he laments, iPhone clutched in hand.
The ad goes on to showcase how the Galaxy S4 can control an HDTV and even recommend TV shows. It's also worth noting that all of the cool and hip party-goers are toting Samsung devices while the older and "out of touch" folks are all using iPhones.
Now, whether or not anyone actually cares about air gestures or smartphone-based TV recommendations, you have to give Samsung credit for its advertising efforts. The company spends a boatload of money on advertising and often runs commercials during special events and highly watched programs.
More importantly, the ads are lighthearted, funny, and work to portray Samsung's Galaxy phones as the latest and greatest while painting the iPhone as being stodgy and boring. In many respects, Samsung's anti-iPhone commercials are reminiscent of Apple's "Get a Mac" ads of yore which took innumerable comical potshots at Microsoft.
Say what you will about the veracity of Samsung's ads, or the quality of their products for that matter, but it's hard to argue that the company doesn't know how to put out a darn good commercial.