headphone jack on bottom samsung

“The Headphone Jack is going to be on the Bottom!!”

There is a good chance by now you’ve seen the new Samsung Galaxy S III commercial on TV. Frankly, it’s one of the best approaches I’ve seen to a manufacturer comparing their product’s features with a leading competitor—something I’ve talked about many times here on TSL and will continue to do so until brands and businesses realize how much “comparative shopping” is such an intricate part of today’s information-driven consumer.

The commercial is great because not only does it discuss Samsung’s distinguishing features to the iPhone, but it’s very funny, well done, and makes people at least have a second thought about waiting in line for 10 hours to purchase Apple’s latest toy. If you haven’t watched it, take a moment to view it here, as it’s a marketing masterpiece:


As I peddled away on my elliptical and watched this commercial for what seemed like the 10th time the other night, my marketing brain started to go in motion as I had a feeling that although the commercial was great, Samsung was likely missing the mark with the rest of their comparative-marketing approach.

Within minutes of going to the web, I realized my hunch was correct. Here’s why:

Ignoring the Way Consumers Search Online

I know I’ve been beating this horse lately but because the mistake is so prolific, I’m going to keep talking about it. Here is the thing:

The marketing campaign in discussion here revolves around one central consumer problem/question: What’s the difference between the Samsung Galaxy SIII and the iPhone 5?

Although there are many other derivatives of this phrase, it represents everything consumers want to know (and therefore search online) in order to decide which product is better.

And as these same consumers go to Google right now and type in the phrase “Samsung S III vs iPhone 5” (or a derivative), the Samsung website, and video, don’t even show up.

Nope, instead, articles and videos from just about everyone but Samsung and Apple show up in search results, which begs the question:

Why isn’t the Samsung YouTube commercial, or the Samsung website, showing up in search results?

The answer comes down to two factors, something that brands and businesses big and small screw-up all the time:

1. The title of the YouTube video is not optimized properly in terms of targeting the main consumer search phrase (Samsung vs. iPhone), with the title of the instead being: “The Next Big thing: Samsung Galaxy SIII” Understandably, this is the title of the campaign and therefore necessitates the phrase, but an even more effective title would have been: The Next Big Thing: Samsung Galaxy S III vs the iPhone 5.

Although the YouTube video is exceptional and the TV campaign has helped it go Viral, it should have included the phrase “Samsung vs iPhone” so as to target the core online consumer.

#2. The Comparative Education Stops with the Video

Let’s pretend for a second you’re a consumer and you’ve just watched the Samsung commercial. Because you thought it was awesome, the door is now open to the idea that you may choose the Samsung model over the new iPhone as your interest is obviously tweaked.

Excited to further see the differences between the two models, you land on the Samsung website and within seconds your frustration begins.



Because there are no comparisons. In other words, yes, the new Samsung phone is talked about in great length but there is no chart, graphic, etc. comparing it to the iPhone, much less any other brand for that matter.

As you can imagine, this makes no sense. What was a great marketing tool in the video (comparing two products) has now dissipated and given way to normal “marketing speak.”

To see how Samsung should have done this, just check out the Mashable article comparing the iPhone to other brands. Once again, because we live in the age of comparative shopping, Mashable’s article goes viral because it gives people exactly what they want.

Understand what consumers want to read, Mashable is a master at comparison-based articles.

This is Nothing New

What Samsung has done here is nothing new to big brands (and small ones too) in the digital/information age we all live in.

Although they’ve done a great job in helping their consumer base start to compare products, they’ve missed the mark on their company website and not continued to drive home their main point, which is the fact (according to Samsung) that their product has more features and benefits than the overpriced and overrated iPhone.

Right now, all over the world and in just about every industry you can think of consumers and buyers are comparing products, services, etc. Their goal is to see a clear delineation between whatever it is they’re are debating on. And in almost every case, the company that does the best job showing the differences and making it easy for a consumer to understand their benefits, will likely get the sale in most cases.

So that’s the challenge. Design your website and the rest of your digital copy in such a way that consumers can easily compare what you do or sell to everyone else. Show them the differences. Put it out there front and center. And most of all, give them what they want.

Your Turn

I think we can all agree that the Samsung commercial/video was exceptional, so I want to focus our efforts on the core of this article, which is the comparative consumer. Why do you think most websites fail to properly compare products and services? And why do we often do this with TV advertising but not with the rest of our digital marketing? Jump in folks, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

76 thoughts on “Samsung Shows Complete Marketing Genius and Ignorance with Attack of the iPhone 5

  1. And the beat goes on, Marcus. This is an issue that goes beyond optimization. Brands big and small don’t look at all the moving parts of a campaign to even line up the message correctly. Extending the message in the commercial to the website would have at least put them in the comparison ballpark.

    • Yep, the beat certainly does go on Bob, that’s quite an accurate way of putting it, and this does go way, way beyond optimization.

      Good thoughts brother, and great to see you stop by,


      • Marcus, I just spent 1.5 hours talking all things marketing and social with Tom Reber of Motor and Jalapeño Paint Werx. He came out to bid on some exterior painting and I mention how impressed I was with this web presence and blog. When I said, “Do you know Marcus Sheridan?”, he replied, “You are the first customer to EVER make that connection.” A very good guy with whom I’ll be connecting a lot with in the future.

  2. As I said in my Facebook comment, this commercial would totally work, had the quality of the product been better. It is high end phone, that is priced equally, if not even more expensive than the iPhone, and the quality of production is cheap non endurable plastic.

    Had it faired better in the crash tests, I would recommend people getting it, but since it’s so squishy, and plasticky I can only say that comparison between the best and the crappy doesn’t go well in Samsung’s favor.

    It’s free commercial for iPhone. And quite obvious that they want to be the number 2. And being the number 2 usually means that you won’t even keep that position for long.

    • Interesting take Bojan, but honestly you seem more informed than most. I think many people may not have read the crash test, and this commercial will be their first intro to the concept that “maybe the iPhone isn’t the crem de la crem 😉

      Appreciate you stopping by,


  3. Jon

    Love this! The bigger the brand the harder they fall on their own sword! It seems to me that the biggest brands have a certain nochalence or arrogance or is it simply that they get a really cool and groovy ad agency to do the above the line stuff and leave it to the in-house marketing team to look after everything else. Or worse – get the web team to look after the online content.

    My guess is that the website content was developed way in advance of the commercial and the two departments – above the line and online just didn’t share the vision.

    I may be wrong – but having worked for large corporates as an agency designer in a previous life I have seen first hand how this can be the case. Just surprises me that it still appears to be so!

    But long may the big brands do it to give all of us hard working smaller guys a chance of their slice of the pie!

    • Jon, totally loving your passion in this comment and I appreciate it.

      And yes, if I were to make a guess as well, I’d venture to say the cross-communication here within departments ain’t the best. :-)

      Thanks again,


  4. I don’t disagree with you Marcus (I think that there is certainly a missed opportunity for Samsung to draw meaningful comparisons). However, the ad does A LOT right. Most importantly, rather than hyping the phone’s features with a direct sales message, it addresses the target client’s pain points (resulting from their disillusionment with the competition):

    * long lines to get what you want
    * inconvenient hardware changes
    * misunderstood features
    * ridiculously overinflated price tags

    Bang on in this respect.

    • Ruth, I’m completely with you. There is plenty of genius in this ad, but I think for me that was also what made the whole lack of follow-thru on the website so confusing. I can’t imagine the same two people were in charge of those areas of the marketing.

      But then again, what the heck do I know 😉

      Great seeing you lady!


  5. Marcus,

    Thought provoking article indeed.

    Here are my arguments

    1. Not using the term iPhone to appear in search results

    Nowhere in the Ad do you see Samsung using the term iPhone. They refer to apple iPhone as just the new phone. So it’s obvious they don’t want to use the iPhone brand explicitly (Another lawsuit maybe?).

    Besides, when I search for a product comparison, say A vs B, I wouldn’t want to land on a product advertisement- no matter how funny or informative it is. It just is not credible enough for me. Will any product say they are inferior to someone else? I am better off reading a mashable article rather than seeing Samsung Ad.

    2. Not having comparison on the sales page.

    Here again, I would have to disagree with you. I don’t think that it’s required. First of all, not everyone lands on that page with the iPhone vs Samsung mentality. So you don’t want to lose valuable real estate promoting your competitor brand.

    Do you see Apple comparing itself with other competitors? No!

    Samsung is doing it right. They designed the page for majority of the people- who are interested in Samsung galaxy phone. Not the iPhone vs android fight.

    • Appreciate your points Adarsh but I strongly disagree with what you’ve stated here. To think that people don’t look to directly compare products at every opportunity is simply not the case. And as I’ve shown before here on TSL, VS articles work EXTREMELY well on a company’s website when comparing products and services. And now that I’ve done this w TSL and River Pools, I’ve done it w multiple clients in other industries as well. Whether you want to review this type of info or not on a business’s site, the stats don’t back you up here. The worst mistake a marketer can make is allowing their opinions or habits to dictate proven strategy.

      And when it comes to mentioning names, it is allowed and quite legal, you just can’t lie. Again, I’ve gone down that road and have had many discussions w lawyers on the matter as well.

      Again, thanks for your opinions Adarsh, I think it’s important that there are two sides to this argument.


      • Brian Kwong

        I was just thinking what adarsh was thinking after reading this and thanks for clearing this up.

        It’s my first time here from pat flynn’s blog, so will be reading your other articles on comparative shopping now. Do you have any other recommendations regarding to the topic of creating commercial or prelauch video (teasers) that works?

        Thanks Marcus!


        • Brian, great to meet you bud and I appreciate you stopping by.

          I haven’t written “tons” about video but do have a decent amount of content in that area. What I’d suggest is that you get my free eBook and you’ll see very quickly the video related articles you’re looking for, as there is a chapter just on video.

          Good luck and thanks again!


      • Elenor

        First time here. Will keep reading, fer shure! However:
        “To think that people don’t look to directly compare products at every opportunity”

        I do that ALL the time with ALL products of a high price, but I’m certainly not going to read the website of the makers of those products to find those comparisons! I’m going to read reviewers I respect, bloggers I’ve found to be reliable, computer (or mobile device) magazine reviews… but the ad baloney posted by the maker of the product? Waste of my time!

        I love that Samsung ad and would — if I were in the market for a phone — look very closely at Samsung; but NOT on Samsung’s website!

        • That’s the thing Elenor, *you* may not trust their reviews, but studies show reviews are some of the most prominent viewed pages on a website, even if it’s “biased.”

          Plus, if you look at TV, millions a year are spent making “review commercials” comparing products. And the reason for this is simple–they work.

          Thanks so much for stopping by,


  6. And to think, I was just telling my wife that this was really lazy marketing for quite different reasons.

    The assumption you’re making here is that people that buy the iPhone would be open to buying a Galaxy SIII, which I believe is generally not correct. People don’t buy the iPhone because it’s better. They buy it because that’s the phone they want, because it’s cool, it’s exotic, it makes them part of a club. Some of them just want it because they want it.

    Think of the iPhone like Diet Coke (or whatever drink you happen to love). If someone asks you to do a blind taste test, you might very well say, “Yes, the alternative tastes just as good (or even better),” but when it comes to purchasing, I bet you buy Diet Coke again. Why? Because, if you are like most people, you don’t want a taste better than Diet Coke. You want Diet Coke.

    The same thing goes here. iPhone buyers don’t want something better than the iPhone. They want THE iPhone, and as such, Samsung’s not convincing iPhone users to switch. They’re only making current SIII owners feel better about their purchase, which while being an admirable effort in and of itself isn’t going to get Samsung any new buyers.

    • Good stuff Eric but I partially disagree with your last point. I do think one intention of the ad is to reinforce the decision that the SIII buyers are making but I also think they aim to steal market share from iPhone. If you disagree, watch the ad again with an eye towards the way that they try to make iPhone users feel old and foolish.

      • Thanks, Russ. I see how it can be interpreted in that way, but I think we’ll have to wait for some case study to see which of us is right 😉 My interpretation of this is that the majority of iPhone users will completely ignore this commercial – or at the very least the implications that they are old and foolish – so Samsung won’t really steal iPhone users.

        I think they do however make a compelling case for people that might be on the fence.

        Either way, thanks for your perspective. I hope that someone does a case study on these commercials.

        • I think Eric’s rationale is the most solid on this page. I will add…

          This will only be appealing to the “on the fence” people because they have no vested interest in the Apple ecosystem.

          For instance, with perhaps a thousand or more dollars invested in years of apps, music & books, there’s no way you’re going to get me to consider switching, unless you can easily transfer these conveniences without much headache. Not to mention that I’ve convinced many family, friends and even our whole office to switch to the iPhone (usually their first smartphone, besides blackberry). So it’s not just the device or apps they’d be switching from, but a social ecosystem as well. You could definitely switch as a techy, but your average consumer wouldn’t.

          • Thank you, and good point. I didn’t even really consider the switching costs, which are another reason people won’t switch and why some of those won’t even give the commercial a second thought.

            Marcus needs to get a button for us to thumbs up comments :)

            • :) I was looking for that same button! Get one Marcus!

          • Yes, but how many millions are on the fence??? I think that’s the key here…

            Good stuff Zeek,


            • Very good point Marcus…the industry is still pregnant with opportunity and they’d be crazy not to take advantage of it!

      • Mt thoughts exactly Russ. They’re finally fighting back against the “cool” factor that is owning an Apple, and I say they’re off to a good start.

    • You make some good points here, Eric. It’s really an interesting study on psychology, group think, etc. But for those who actually think on their own two feet (there are some out there!), I think it’s an effective commercial.

      • Thanks, Rebecca. I definitely agree that it’s an effective commercial, but what I question is whether the effect is what Samsung and their agency intended and how large that effect is.

        Either way, one interesting thing to consider when trying to divorce things like group think from decisions is how much unconscious conditioning, such as priming, goes into our decisions. One example that I commonly use is this… Let’s say that a Britney Spears song was on the radio when my first girlfriend broke up with me. I might have no recollection of the song being on the radio, but when today someone asks me, “Why don’t you like Britney Spears,” I’m more than likely to say, “Because, her music is too poppy,” or, “Because, she has a whiny voice,” when I might listen to other poppy music or listen to other whiny singers. The reality is that I have an unconscious negative association with her music. The same could be said if we were sitting in a certain kind of car, she was wearing a specific perfume, or we were eating one food or another. People have a innate desire to feel logical and rational, as if we carefully consider every decision and as if nothing is really unconscious. When in reality, we carefully consider very few decisions and are rather conditioned to like, dislike, or think certain ways as a result of past experiences.

        That long explanation is all to say that, I believe, Samsung, or critics of the commercial, might be attempting to say something about group think that really isn’t true. Deep down, we rarely want an iPhone or SIII or anything else because we’ve really thought about every aspect of it. Every aspect is just too overwhelming to consider and not worth the effort. Instead, we want it for reasons that are frequently too difficult to explain and that we might not even be conscious of.

        You might be versed in all of that already, but if not and if it interests you, take a look at You are Not so Smart by David McRaney or even a body language book like What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro. I found both books fascinating, even though the former is probably more applicable to these circumstances.

    • Eric, totally get what you’re saying, and although I think you’re absolutely right in certain cases, I’m also sure there are a group of folks out the that do not go iPhone because it’s cool….people like me for example, I just want the best phone, it doesn’t matter to me if it was made by Yugo :-)

      The question, then, is how many are blind followers and how many are feature-based shoppers?


      • Thanks, Marcus.

        The more I think about how to respond to claims about thinking everything through, the more I get into explaining decision making psychology and the further I get from the actual ad itself. Hence me taking 15 minutes to write and rewrite this comment 😉

        I hope that it suffices to say that most people are not blind followers. At the same time though, no one thinks through every factor of buying and owning a smart phone. To do so would provide a noticeably negative ROI. You would have to stop everything in your life just to think it all through. Some people think through a lot of the factors, but far less than even they would believe. Most of our actions and decisions are driven by prior conditioning and are simply rationalized after the fact in an act to make us feel like logical, rational, thinking people.

        Applying this to the Samsung commercial, they went out on a limb making this ad. Their former head of social media told me as much yesterday. The thing is that they were going for something I don’t think they achieved. I believe they wanted to make iPhone users rethink their purchase. What they did was instead make people on the fence rethink their potential purchase, help SIII owners to feel better about themselves, and also get a bunch of attention, buzz, inbound links, etc…all worthy outcomes in and of themselves of course. Just not what they were going for.

        But, I could be wrong about the goals of course.

  7. Considering the recent law suit by Apple against Samsung I’m guessing they felt it was safer to not mention Apple directly. I think most consumers know who they’re talking about.

    I’ve avoided drinking the kool-aid so far. I’m on my 2nd Droid. I really like the razr and whenever there’s a problem (which is inevitable with any device at some point) all the iPhone cult start telling me how foolish I am and I should get their phone.

    Granted, I’m a non-conformist, but who wants to have the exact same thing everyone else has? I don’t think it’s because Apple is the best. I think it’s because too many people are still nostalgically in high school and want to be one of the cool kids.

    I’ve had Samsung in the past and like their products. I believe Apple’s power and clout have made everyone leery of uttering their name aloud for fear of another lawsuit. I hope Samsung wins. Apple is too big for its breeches right now and sooner or later we’re going to see the true loss of Steve Jobs.

    • Barb, I must be another nonconformist. I actually researched the different options and ended up with a Droid. It just had a lot more to offer, both in features and in different service plans that were available. The only reason I would have chosen an iPhone over a Droid would have been to “fit in,” which I guess just doesn’t matter that much to me.

      But to the point of Marcus’ article — it is true that I had to do the hard work of figuring it out somewhere other than the websites of either company. You’re probably right about the lawsuits though. Apple likely wouldn’t compare them side to side since the iPhone fails to measure up in certain ways, and Samsung may be afraid of what would happen if they named names.

    • Good point Barbara, Apple is the playground bully in many ways, and that has been the case for the last decade I guess. But I also think they will find that more and more companies won’t back down.

      Guess we’ll se 😉


  8. Very well put Marcus!

    According to research from Shopping Sciences in the Google ZMOT report released in April of 2011:

    – 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials that interest them.

    – The average number of sources (on and off-line) a shopper checks before purchase increased from 5.27 to 10.4 from 2010 to 2011.

    It’s not debatable whether shoppers are going to the web to research purchases. It’s a fact.

    It wouldn’t take an SEO genius to get a piece of content ranked for the keyword phrase you mention in your article. Certainly Samsung has the internal know-how to get this done.

    This leaves only one explanation — a disconnect between their traditional advertising and their digital strategy. Not surprising from a very large company like Samsung.

    I wrote a few weeks ago about a TV campaign from Ace Hardware that was disconnected from the actual experience in the store. The ad campaign positions Ace Hardware as the quicky mart of the hardware industry while their big box competitors (Lowe’s, Home Depot) are a better fit when you need a large selection.

    Brilliant marketing. The problem is that the experience in the store is disconnected from the marketing. It’s quicker to go to Ace Hardware, no question — but they could make it quicker. Automatic doors, easy ingress/egress, in-store staff that walks you to your aisle, super-fast credit card machines.

    I think it is just very difficult for large companies to connect all the dots.

    This was a great post! Thanks for writing it!

    • LOVE this comment Russ…yes, the “disconnect” is a problem here, as it’s the only explanation in my mind how this might happen.

      Again, great stuff man!


  9. Marcus,

    The scary part of this conversation is that team working on the Video probably has/had limited to no discussion with the team that runs and Markets the website.

    In the insurance industry this is a HUGE HUGE problem. Carriers work in silos that don’t communicate at all. Often times changes to websites are being done simultaneously by different departments with different 3rd vendors…

    It’s crazy.

    I think you’re right on the money here. Think about is Samsung had a funnel prepared specifically for people that were all jacked up with that video. The Funnel was designed to take people who enjoyed the video all the way through the comparison process to purchase…

    Solid gold.

    Thanks dude… Great thoughts.


    • You’re totally right Ryan… Two different teams…different tactics…

      Amateur Stuff.

    • Silos, silos, silos man. This problem is rampant brother you’re right.

      Always great seeing you brother,


  10. I may be wrong, but aren’t there legal issues involved with directly mentioning the iPhone, specifically in the commercial? It could be bad-talking the company from a biased point of view and get them into legal trouble, which isn’t worth the trouble of directly mentioning them.

    A website like Mashable, however, can compare these phones freely because they are a 3rd party, and therefore considered “unbiased.”

    • As long as you don’t libel yourself Caleb, it’s perfectly legal and actually happens time and time again.

      Appreciate your thoughts man!


      • Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up!

        Absolutely! Thanks for offering such concrete advice on a hot topic.

  11. You make a lot of fantastic points. One thing we talk about a lot is integrated media solutions. The example you’ve given shows how this campaign could have been a lot stronger if all parts of the creative team had worked together to make sure a consistent message, and the tactical aspects of the video, carried through to all campaign elements. This infographic (http://blog.thecenterforsalesstrategy.com/blog/bid/130906/Just-Released-Digital-Integrated-Marketing-Infographic) shows the difference between thinking of campaign elements as stand alone entities (like a cherry on a sundae) vs an integrated campaign (a smoothie).

    • Love it Kim, and thanks for sharing the link!


  12. Ha ha ha,I would say that the website content was developed in advance of the commercial and the two departments – above the line and online just didn’t share the same message. I heard in the radio that there are legal issues involved with directly mentioning the iPhone specifically in the commercial. They’re a huge company, shouldn’t really be any excuses eh!

    • Yep, that’s exactly it Segundo, no excuses when your a behemoth! 😉

  13. I think the ad actually fails because it misses one of the core issues with Samsung: That is, their software is lousy. I already have several Samsung products and based on how poor the software and user experience is, I won’t be buying Samsung again.

    They can do all the clever advertising they want, but it won’t make any difference. Any new customer considering a Samsung over an iPhone is just going to check with their social network or search online where they will get a barrage of opinions of dissatisfied Samsung users.

    Advertising can’t compete with social media.

    • I’m not sure if I fully agree Mark. In fact, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about this commercial. Think about it for a second, when was the last time someone was really talking about a cell phone commercial?

      Also, for every negative review on the Samsung, there are many on the iPhone. Such is the case with a product that sells in the millions. There will always be the naysayers.

      Thanks so much for stopping by,


      • My point is that these days advertising can’t compete with the power of social media and real world customer experience.

        I was at a business lunch the other day and as soon as the word Samsung was even mentioned a torrent of comments about how bad their products are was unleashed.

        The conversation is the reality. These people are Samsung customers not iPhone users. If they are saying Samsung has lousy phones, then Samsung has bigger issues to worry about than making clever ads that take pot shots at a competitor.

        Word of mouth will amplify Samsung’s problems far more than this ad will increase sales.

        • Caio

          I fully agree with Mark.

          Samsung software is slow and boring. My company only allows Andoid so I had to switch from my iPhone 3GS to GS3. For me feels like I am using the old Windows OS again. Very busy, buggy and slow. Technically GS3 has a powefull processor, but the developers are not doing a good job optimizing the code and making it intuitive and resposive like Apple.
          No matter I will push for moving to iphone5 for sure or go back to my 3GS.
          It is always about user experience and Apple is doing great on that.

  14. G’Day Marcus,
    The two essentials of successful marketing are a clearly defined business focus and a narrow specific target market. Samsung fails on both counts. What’s a Samsung? Almost anything electrical.

    And who or what is Samsung’s target market for their iPhone equivalent? From the ad, it seems that their target market is people who want to buy a new Apple iPhone. If you’ve queued for hours to buy a new iPhone I can’t imagine that you’ll suddenly change your mind, leave the queue and dash off to buy the Samsung lookalike.

    Note that Apple sells McIntosh, iPhone, iPad. Each product has an identity beyond Apple. The biggest selling luxury car in the U.S. is the Lexus: not the Toyota Lexus. Lexus has it’s own showrooms and service centres separate from the general Toyota brand.

    All you say about differentiation and comparisons is true. But it all
    derives from the fact that Samsung’s iPhone lookalike business lacks focus and a definitive target market.

    That’s the real lesson here for all of us.

    Make sure you have fun

    Best Wishes

    • Well darn if you didn’t get me thinking on this one Leon :-)

      I hadn’t thought about it, but yes, the individual Samsung products don’t have identities. Very, very true.

      Maybe they should give the old Aussie a call, ehh? 😉


      • G’Day again mate,
        I’d love to be able to claim the credit. But it’s all in “Positioning, The Battle for the Mind” and “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.” Both books were written by Al Ries and Jack Trout.

        ” Positioning” was published in 1981. Last year, 2011, thirty years after the initial publication,the readers of “Advertising Age” voted it “the best marketing book ever.”

        I regard these two books as essential reading for anyone owning or running a business.

        As my friend Bix Berry says, “marketing isn’t everything but everything is marketing.”

        And that even applies to curmudgeonly Aussie HR blokes like me. Crystal clear business focus and a narrow, precisely defined target market. They’re the foundation of real business success. Just ask the people who used have a chain of bookshops called Borders……. until they became coffee shops and gift shops and CD shops and toyshops and DVD shops and…….. finally closed shops.

        But if you can convince Samsung to call me, I’ll take the call.

        Best Wishes


  15. Hi Marcus,

    Lol – What a great post. Especially featuring the video, As an avid apple user it did actually appeal to me… So well done to Samsung.

    • I always appreciate props to the enemy Anton 😉

      Good seeing you man,


  16. I think it’s because of 2 things.
    1) They don’t properly understand their competitors’ products
    2) they’re suffering from creator-bias, meaning that because they created the product, they already have a bias towards it.

  17. I actually read the mashable comparison before purchasing my phone. I had to look a bit myself to find a real in-depth review rather than marketing stuff. Nice to see I am not the only one.

    • Yep, good point Cassie, and I think a lot of folks are in your same boat!

  18. Marcus, this is a great insight. Like you, I love the ad, but–it’s so easy to be captivated by the initial concept. But you’ve shown so clearly how even a great concept can fail to capitliaze on the good will and interest generated by following through. Once again, if you don’t look at everything in your communciations arsenal–marketing, social media, PR, even online Help–from a client-sided perspective, you risk leaving opportunities “on the table.”

    • Love your point about “client-sided perspective” Kasey. Awesome. In fact, I think that’s the one great divide between the average marketing folks and the great ones— they can see it from the other side.

      Thanks so much for stopping by,


  19. Hey Marcus,
    I landed here via Ruth Zive’s comparative post to the same campaign. She makes an interesting point as well. As a consumer (read: I am not a marketing professional) I can certainly relate to your points here. The optimised title of a video (or post, or article) would certainly be helpful and you have always been a strong advocate for the value of title so this is for me an excellent point but I have to agree with Adarsh; if i am comparison shopping I rarely go to the product’s site to find that information.

    Neither Apple nor Samsung will waste valuable space offering each other’s information never mind the other products available like Nokia, HTC, etc. because they know that sites like Mashable will do that for them. Also, big box retailers with both products would be better off offering the comparisons on their sites as well as that’s likely where the majority will buy them.

    I can’t agree more that the experience needs to be better but, again, as a consumer, I will not go to the product site for apples to apples comparison because it is in the best interest for the statistics to be tweaked to their product. Fair comparison? Maybe but Mashable or the like can seem a little more impartial simply from the point of perception. It seems like an issue of credibility to me.

    We are talking about behemoths of industry here so let me ask you this. Is this approach completely scalable to the small business owner as well? Do you take the same approach or are you better off answering your customers questions in a different way such as offering them the information they need to make informed decisions? Does it scale the same way?

    Like i said, this is a consumers viewpoint. Lots of gaps in my thinking, i am sure. Great article!

    • Great point Ralph, but let me ask you one simple question:

      Have you ever asked a sales guy, who represented a product (like a car) how that product compared to a competing product?

      If so, you join the ranks of 99.9% of the world.

      Great content marketers hear the question of their consumers and answer them in every form—face to face, digital, text, whatever.

      But the idea of simple “accepting” another site like Mashable to be the ones making comparisons when I can also do that as the manufacturer is utterly nuts in my opinion and doesn’t follow the golden content marketing rule of “They ask, we answer.”

      Thanks again bud,


  20. That’s commercial is pretty impressive. However, Samsung Galaxy S3 is just a glossy plastic body that doesn’t give that premium feeling like iPhone 5. I love iPhone 5 because of its dimensions, design, camera and of course better iOS.

  21. Hit it on the head. I’m an analyst at a large agency and I see big brands leave chips on the table all the time. It’s often because there is such a disconnect between the marketing departments. These companies have different agencies and departments that handle DRTV, direct mail, digital, etc. When each dept is pushed to hit deadlines and expected to figure out the next quarter’s program at the same time, continuity is lost. They’re so close to the forest they can’t see the trees—i.e., they roll out a program and focus on that program’s numbers. There is a trend today in the agency world of companies hiring one large agency to manage all their other agencies in order to help mitigate the problem. Clearly, everyone hasn’t adopted this trend.

  22. That’s a really cool and strong ad and you’re quite right in pointing out the missed opportunity for Samsung. I am surprised at how some people think Apple doesn’t compare?! Whoa! Apple has – at every instance – compared itself to other contemporaries and shown why their product is better in some way. Samsung had that chance here and although the ad played it out real safe, they could have used all of the cyberspace to push it forward.

    However, I think the marketing dept. was keeping a stronger eye on the legal department which was battling Apple in the courts. May be they weren’t quite ready to take the game to the next level and go Defcon One on Apple.

    • Hahaha, you’re very likely right Jignesh, no Defcon One for now!!! :-)


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