“I Heard the iPhone 5 Bought Army Pants and Flip Flops…”

If you haven’t seen the incredibly cheeky ad for the Samsung Galaxy SIII, you’re missing out. The short ad parodies those who camped out for the iPhone 5, ultimately pointing out that the Galaxy SIII already has the components Apple fanatics are going gaga over, and then some.

It’s a pretty confident marketing campaign – few advertisers take a competitor head-on, especially in such a bold way. The ad has had more than 16 million views on YouTube. Considering most people skip the ads that pop up before videos, the fact that people are actively seeking out this clip speaks volumes about its effectiveness. Techradar.com reported that the iPhone 5 failed to knock the Galaxy SIII from the top spot, so Samsung is definitely doing something right.

The ad makes fun of everyone mindlessly flocking to Apple stores for the new device. It portrays them as blind consumers, needing the next fix. It suggests that even the most die-hard Apple fans aren’t sure why they’re so excited for the new iPhone; they just know they were promised something better than before.  Samsung makes iPhone look like the popular kid in high school that everyone envies, but they can’t figure out why.

Samsung’s casual, humorous advertising approach won over a lot of people who could have been on the fence between Apple and Android. Their understanding of their demographic is impeccable. In terms of marketing power, Samsung definitely proved superior. Their advertising showed that while they know they’ve put out a great product, they don’t take themselves too seriously – and they’re culturally aware enough to make a parody. Apple, on the other hands, acts like they’re on a glass pedestal where they can’t be touched – but clearly, they’re not hard to knock down.

The SIII wasn’t hyped nearly as much as the iPhone 5 – Apple started the iPhone 5 craze well before the 4S even hit shelves. Their ad campaign hasn’t come close to the SIII numbers-wise…but a parody of Apple’s advertising has cracked 16 million YouTube hits. It’s comical that after all the energy put into hyping the 5, parodies of Apple’s minimalist ad style, and their fanatics, have gained the most momentum.

In a debate that will continue to hold weight until we see the SIV and the iPhone 6 battle it out, it seems this round goes to Samsung.


Trish Carnahan is an MIT student at Western, a blogger, an avid reader, a fashionista, and an active Tweeter.

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