Samsung Fires Another Shot in Ongoing Marketing War With Apple

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) archrival Samsung (SSNLF.PK) is on the attack again. In a new advertisement titled “Wall Huggers” Samsung mocks the iPhone’s short battery life and touts the Galaxy S5’s changeable battery and its Ultra Power Saving Mode feature.

“There they are, clustered around power outlets, near the recycling bins, stained carpeting, and bathrooms,” intones the advertisement’s narrator. “Tethered to the wall, denied the freedom to enjoy even the most basic things, like grabbing a drink, or sharing a laugh with your co-workers. Or sitting with someone you know. You’re stuck here until your battery says so.”

As seen in the video above, Samsung users are shown walking around freely with their Galaxy S5 devices. In one segment, a Galaxy S5 user is told by an Apple user that they need to recharge their iPhone 5s and invites the Samsung user to come along. “Actually, I’m okay,” responds the Galaxy S5 user. A subsequent close-up shot of the Galaxy S5 shows that the user has activated the Ultra Power Saving Mode, which supposedly provides about twenty-four hours of “standby time” with only 10 percent battery charge remaining. As noted on Samsung’s website, “This innovative feature changes your screen to black and white and shuts down all unnecessary features to dramatically minimize battery consumption.”

Samsung has often used its Galaxy ads to attack Apple’s iPhones. While some Samsung ads portrayed Apple users as older and out-of-touch with the latest smartphone technologies, others criticize the iPhone with thinly veiled symbols. Although fans of Apple tech may dismiss these types of attack ads as a desperation move on Samsung’s part, there is evidence that Apple’s executives see these ads as a genuine threat.

Internal communications that were entered into evidence in the recent patent-infringement trial between Apple and Samsung revealed that senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller viewed Samsung’s “The Next Big Thing Is Already Here” campaign as superior to Apple’s own recent marketing efforts. “We have a lot of work to do to turn this around,” wrote Schiller in an email to Media Arts Lab executive James Vincent in January of 2013, reports The Wall Street Journal. Media Arts Lab, a unit of the TBWA\Chiat\Day ad agency, has long been Apple’s primary marketing partner and created some of the iPhone maker’s most memorable commercials, including the iconic Ridley Scott-directed “1984” Super Bowl commercial. However, Vincent’s response that Apple’s brand needed to be revamped much like it did in 1997 “shocked” Schiller.

As a result of that deteriorating relationship, Apple has recently started producing more of its own television commercials, according to unnamed “people with knowledge of the matter” cited by Bloomberg. Apple’s in-house television advertising team may have created the recently released “Parenthood” iPhone advertisement that emphasizes the device’s family friendly uses. As seen in the video above, Apple demonstrates how the iPhone 5S can be used as a baby monitor, a teaching aid for instructing children how to brush their teeth, and a tool to find lost pets. Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy advertisements, Apple’s recent iPhone commercials have tended to focus on the various ways that iPhone owners can use their devices, rather than attacking the competition.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)

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