South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics (SSNFL.PK) is back to its old tricks. The company launched the ad for its new Galaxy Tab Pro Wednesday, and let’s just say the 1-minute commercial reminds us a lot of the one Apple (NASDAQ:APPL) used to promote its iPad Air. Actually, it appears as though Samsung is making fun of it.
Samsung has been known to poke fun at its rival’s marketing efforts, and its Galaxy Tab Pro ad that stars an “extremely pointy” pencil is just its latest crack at Apple. Apple Insider reminds us that in 2012, Samsung launched a series of ads that poked fun at Apple customers waiting in line to purchase the new iPhone, and after that, Samsung dug deep in 2013 to question the iPhone’s “cool factor” and its international language support. Apple hasn’t shown signs of taking any offense from this harmless banter, but it is interesting that Apple’s rivals tend to poke fun at Apple, while Apple doesn’t tend to poke fun back at them.
Nonetheless, Samsung’s commercial for its Galaxy Tab Pro is entertaining, and Apple Insider explains that it opens by zooming in on a pencil, only to reveal an iPad Air hiding behind the writing instrument. Samsung inserts humor into the ad by having the voiceover feign amazement as the tablet’s discovery. Beyond the iPad, though, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro comes into focus, and the voiceover excitedly points out that the company’s latest slate is even more svelte than the iPad; “ah, the even thinner Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.” He goes on to outline the tablet’s other redeeming qualities — its multitasking system potential and its 2,560 pixel by 1,600 pixel screen — only to then decide he will choose the Galaxy Tab Pro over the iPad Air. Big surprise there, Samsung, but we have to hand it to you, your commercial is catchy.
Apple and Samsung have long rivaled each other in the ongoing tech wars, but at least there is some comedy in the game. Competitors have generally not shied away from employing humor to highlight their rivals’ shortcomings, and sometimes at the end of the day, the most entertaining marketing yields the best sales. Just take a look at Pepsi’s (NYSE: PEP) sales pitch from last year’s Halloween. The ad requires you to focus in on the highlighted product for at least a second, and Pepsi gets bonus points for creativity, along with effectively capturing consumers’ attention.
One of the only times that Samsung marketers’ humorous advertising really came back to bite them was when they launched the ad for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch last October. Apple Insider highlights that the commercial was a near shot-for-shot replication of Apple’s original 2007 ad, and the spot subsequently exactly didn’t attract many laughs, but rather only stink eyes.