The Next Big Thing – Clever or Cheap Shot?

by Brian Landi on December 16, 2011

You’ve probably seen them by now – the Samsung Galaxy commercials where the owners of Samsung’s new smartphone flirt with Apple fanboys(and girls) waiting outside the Apple store to purchase the next version of the iPhone. (Video below)
I laughed, heartily for that matter, when I saw this ad.

Despite finding the ad amusing and getting a laugh in the process, I had to ask myself if I could objectively consider the effectiveness of the spot, who it was trying to reach, and what it was really trying to say. It is also interesting to note that in no point does the ad mention Apple by name.

Going against a company like Apple even for a giant like Samsung is no small undertaking. There is a certain cultish quality to Apple users. Their attitudes and allegiance often surpass use of “fanboy” terminology. So, there are going to be those, ironically exactly like those depicted waiting in line in the ad, who will probably never digress from the Apple path. However, the existence of the extremists is proof that there is a spectrum of opinions about Apple products. Therein lies the Samsung strategy; appealing to those who have considered purchasing the iPhone but have not yet made the commitment. The question though is are these ads going to sway people’s opinions either way? Or more likely have most people already made up their mind? And, the spot while a clever anecdote will only serve to reinforce their station on whichever side of this debate they reside.

I’ve been monitoring some of the comments about the ad from both sides of the spectrum and the middle. When you get out to the far end of the android vs iOS or Apple versus other device arguments people get pretty emotional. What you end up with is a cyber mob of people finding ways to voice and reassure their disdain for the other side and basically whooping each other into a frenzy. They end up just talking amongst themselves and their opinions largely become irrelevant.

Some might call their strategy ineffective because it doesn’t really emphasize many of the true merits of the phone it just makes fun of Apple users. But in my opinion ads that focus too much on the technical concerns lose the viewer in the process. Ads that tell stories and make the viewer question who they are as a person and how they relate to a product on an emotional level are much more effective. Ever wonder why politicians who make cohesive arguments but are more comfortable pointing to a graph than crafting a tale and connecting often find it difficult to come up with the votes come election time?

Everyone from your grandmother who doesn’t use “the email” to your colleagues at work are going to have an opinion about this ad. The interesting takeaway I believe is that the vast majority of those opinions do not matter. There is a small segment of the population from which these ads are going to bear fruit for Samsung and with that demographic I believe they are successful. And they also get some points for entertaining everyone else in the process.

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Steve Jobs – Visionary, Jerk, or Tragic Hero?

by Brian Landi on December 7, 2011

When the Steve Jobs biography was released a few weeks ago I must admit that I did not have any pressing need to wait in line at the Barnes and Noble for one of the first copies.  In fact, that statement is rather moot because when I did purchase the book I did so through audible.com. So any anticipated or avoided line waiting was truly a fantasy. All of this aside, once I began reading I found myself enthralled by the story of an individual who not only revolutionized five industries but also reshaped the way that the world thinks about technology and their own personas.

Isaacson constructs an authentic narrative depicting both what it was like to be Steve Jobs and to work with him. The book is filled with little anecdotes, such as [click to continue…]

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Culture Congruency Checkup

November 22, 2011

One of the most important things to consider when evaluating the viability and sustainability of your employment, with a certain company is said company’s culture. Company, corporate,or organizational culture (for the intensive purposes of this post referred to hereafter as just culture) is the interdependent set of beliefs, ceremonies and rituals, management paradigms, leadership strategies, [...]

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I’m Back

November 9, 2011

A little more than a year ago I wrote a blog post entitled “What happened? I think I blacked out…” which sparked a self-imposed challenge to write more frequently for this blog.  Well it lasted for a little over a month and led to a flurry of new articles, some more people reading and commenting, an [...]

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Cold Showers and the Bulls*$# We Sell Ourselves

September 9, 2010

Some people like the occasional cold shower.  They find it invigorating.  I am NOT one of these people.  I’ll take it as hot as I can stand it.  Why do I mention this fun little fact about me?  The other day I had to take a cold shower as a result of having a little [...]

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Managing Your Effectiveness and Creativity with a Routine

September 7, 2010

Humans are considered, by some accounts, to be the most habitual beings on the planet.  If that is the case why do we often seem to be the most unpredictable of creatures?  I believe the answer lies in our ability to intellectualize everything that comes across our palate.  The list of possibilities of activities on [...]

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5 Ways to Sharpen the Saw

September 6, 2010

In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey culminates his list with a technique he calls “Sharpening the Saw.”  The chapter starts with an anecdote of a person trying to feverishly saw down a tree.  When a passerby asks him what he is doing he states that he has been trying [...]

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Writing Challenge in Review and Plans Moving Forward

September 1, 2010

Well everyone, today is the last day of my 3 week blog post challenge.  21 posts in 21 days and it was a great experience!  Thanks for being a part of it!  Here are a couple of things that I learned: Creativity Breeds Creativity – By forcing myself to write something new every day I [...]

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Know Your Customers

August 31, 2010

Image via Wikipedia I took a cue from someone a while back and instead of signing my credit cards on the reverse side I wrote in large black permanent marker “SEE I.D.”  The hope is that, should someone steal my card and try to use it, they will be foiled when my instructions cue the [...]

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Crucial Conversations – Book Review

August 30, 2010

I recently read Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, et. al. as part of my 2010 Free MBA Reading Challenge.  The book makes a strong presentation of techniques for dealing with difficult conversations and even conflicts.  It is very acronym heavy.  And, while it did at times seem like everything related to an acronym, I did [...]

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