I got a good laugh out of this one.
Samsung is kicking off a new ad campaign this week, directly taking a swipe at Apple fanboys and the iPhone and promoting its flagship Galaxy S II line of Android phones.
I mostly use Apple gear, including an iPhone, and even I thought the ad was clever.
It’s an interesting take on a smartphone campaign. Instead of touting specs and features, Samsung is going right for Apple’s jugular, mocking the fanboy culture while saying “hey, there are other great smartphones out there too.”
It’s a ballsy move. And it’s sure to attract first time smartphone buyers as opposed to those already married to their iPhones.
I got to chat with two Samsung execs behind the new campaign, Todd Pendleton, Samsung’s Chief Marketing Officer, and Brian Wallace, Samsung’s VP of Strategic Marketing, about why the company decided to take this route with the new campaign.
Before I get into what they said, you really should watch the ad first:
More ads are coming soon. They’ll hit Samsung Mobile’s Facebook page first and start airing with football games on Thanksgiving day.
Now for what drove the campaign. Here’s my Q&A with Pendleton and Wallace:
BI: Start off with the history of this new campaign. Where did the idea come from?
Pendleton: We’ve already done a great job at promoting the Galaxy S II from Samsung’s point of view. Now we want to show the voice of the consumer and play into the conversations and debate going on in a real way.
BI: What about the Galaxy Nexus? Isn’t that supposed to be your flagship phone this year?
Pendleton: They’re both a big thing. Right now the GSII is the main lead product. GSII is a great product for us and we feel it’s the best smartphone on the market today. There will be future work on the Galaxy Nexus next year.
BI: Is the goal of the campaign to get iPhone users to switch or pull in people buying a smartphone for the first time?
Wallace: We’re not targeting fanboys. We’re not going to convert them. We’re using them as a foil to target current Android users upgrading to a new phone and people entering the smartphone market for the first time.
BI: Why is the focus more on poking fun at the Apple culture as opposed to what sets the Galaxy S II apart from the iPhone?
Pendleton: I don’t think it’s poking fun. We wanted everyone to be aware of the GSII. Everyone knows about the lines for the iPhone launches. We want to use that as a device to show that the next big thing is already here.
Wallace: It’s not so much as making fun as Apple culture. It’s people not thinking rationally on this. They’re allowing a brand to define who they are. That’s not exclusive to Apple, either.
BI: Are you worried about alienating iPhone owners who may want to switch?
Pendleton: No, I think this is done with a wink and a smile. Just from initial reactions, even Apple owners and lovers are talking about this in a positive way. We’re seeing positive quotes from people out there who may no be willing to buy our product.
BI: Why do you keep making the “4G” claim in the ad? The iPhone 4S on AT&T runs on the carrier’s HSPA+ “4G” network, just like the Galaxy S II does.
Wallace: Yes, we thought of that. There’s a lack of clear definition about what 4G is. When you go to technical speed comparisons [between the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S II], those speak for themselves. We clearly have faster networks than the iPhone.
[Editor’s note: There are a lot of variables to “4G” data speeds. Take that claim with a grain of salt]
BI: Is this the only video in the campaign or is there more?
Wallace: There’ll be a 90 second version launching tomorrow [November 23] and a series of three 30 second spots and three 15 second spots. All will launch on Facebook first. The shorter spots go into individual storylines of the characters.