Competition in the market is good if -- and only if -- the game is played following good ethical rules. The supply chain and consumers alike see benefits from this. Is there a need to put competitors down in order to show off and sell your products? I don't think so.
Yet, that's what Samsung seems to be doing. Let's have a look at Samsung's commercial, The Graduation Pool Party, for its recently released Galaxy S4:
In the commercial, Samsung also mocks Google Nose -- do you remember that? -- when the graduate asks his dad, who is standing next to the barbecue, to smell the picture of the ribs he is barbecuing. The pick moment for me is when the older guy asks "So some smartphones are smarter than other smartphones?"
Dad has an iPhone, and can't share pictures with the Galaxy S4, which uses the Android S Beam app that allows the user to share content with other Galaxy phones using NFC and Wi-Fi Direct. There is also an implied message from Samsung saying only the cooler and younger people own a Galaxy S4, and the older ones own iPhones. Well, I thought it was the other way around.
Samsung's Galaxy S4 was announced in New York on March 14. Walking the path towards the phablet sphere, the Galaxy S4 boasts a five-inch screen and weighs 130 grams. It has better resolution than the Galaxy S3, and at 7.9mm, it's thinner, too. However, even though it costs $700, it offers the same design as the Galaxy S3. There could have been a little more effort there. The Galaxy S4 seems to be less than a phone and more of a personal assistant.
It has several cool features, including:
S Beam: By placing two Galaxy S4s back-to-back, you can transfer pictures, music, videos, etc.
Air Gesture: This works only with selected apps, and basically you can control them by waving your hand over the phone. It can be useful if you are eating finger food, other than that I am not sure about its usefulness.
S Translator: It's basically a lesser version of Google translate, working only with several selected languages.
Smart Pause and Smart Scroll: If you want to control your phone with your eyes, and nod your head to your phone, you'll love this one. However, I see a short life for Smart Scroll. Samsung thinks otherwise, and this is may be the top marketing feature of the S4.
Pictures with sound: Why don't you shoot video instead? Maybe someone else is crazy about this one, though.
By and large, it sounds like a pretty cool phone, doesn't it? I would have been more impressed had I not seen the commercial. My first impression of the smartphone is quite good, but I don't believe Samsung needed to make comparisons with the iPhone, put it down, or mock its users.
Despite how good the Galaxy S4 sounds, many owners of a Galaxy S3 seem happy with their phone and will wait until the next upgrade, rather than pay another $200. This seems to be similar to what Apple consumers who have an iPhone 4S think of upgrading to the iPhone 5. (See: Is an iPhone Upgrade Really Necessary?)
Electronics manufacturers should maintain a high ethical approach when marketing their products. Putting a competitor down in order to manipulate consumers is not a good practice.
As a consumer, you might find these commercials funny at the beginning. But will they affect consumer behavior? Do they have weight in helping you make up your mind when you are trying to decide which smartphone is the best option for you or your company? How do these commercials impact your critical and individual thinking? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Susan: Maybe my memory is faulty, but don't I recall that Apple started this ad war with the "I'm a Mac" ads that made fun of PC people? Don't you think that turn-about is fair play? I find the Samsung ads kind of funny in the same way the Apple ads were -- and let's face it, the iPhone is falling behind a bit (so, no, I don't really think it's the cooler device anymore).
If you closely watch Samsung's advertisements, it has been showing other competitors in bad light. Also everyone knows that they just copy Apple and are in race with them. Here there has been commercials going on where the guy goes for lunch and buys a samsung s4 with 0 cost using credit card. Dont know who they are trying to fool.
Anyway the feature of phone understanng eye and nodding language of human being seems interesting.
@Ashish I believe that sometimes businesses lose sight of the forest for the trees, The forest in this case is customer interest and the trees are attention-getting ads. Here's a great cartoon illustration:
As for relying on word of mouth, well, there's this Sorry, you'll have to click over to see because I can't get the image to appear in this box.
@Ashish the cartoons are very eloquent on the point. Unfortunately, I coudl nto get them to appear here and so had to only include the links to them. Word of mouth advertising is hard to stimulate and to channel. So few large companies really rely on it to take the place of their own planned marketing campaigns.
Basically what you are trying to say is all the Marketing and Advertising people in a company have to earn their Salaries ;even if it means by running Campaigns which are sure to infuriate as many people as possible.
Who was the smart dude who said that-"There is no Good/Bad Publicity.There is only Publicity,"
@Susan: If Samsung keeps this type of pressure on Apple, Apple will eventually succumb to pressure and reduce price for iPhones. If you repeat same story few times, other party starts thinking that to be true. It will be interesting to wait for Apple response.
This is not about Apple or the iPhone. It's about an observation on Samsung's marketing strategy, despite its new product shouldn't need such push.
"But I think you show partiality toward Apple."
I don't think so. I believe I am being impartial here, and quite objective. I haven't seen any Apple's commercial mocking a competitor's users. And again, this is not about Apple.
"Maybe for Galaxy's fans, iPhone 5's price is also very high and not worth the price."
Galaxy fans are not even going to consider an iPhone. In the same way an Apple fan is not going to consider a Galaxy. Of course then there are users who switch, which is fine. That's another story, as here you are talking about fans, not just users.
You always seem to bring the price of the iPhone up. If you want to look at the price:
Is it really unethical to compare the products, I don't think so. There is lot of effort and creativity put into to make such marketing campaign to compare the features. But if there is something inflated more than the actual the consumers should be esily able to understand and make a decision while purchase product.
What I argue is the way Samsung went beyond comparing products. It enterered the territory of mocking users, who are not part of the war of the smartphones.
Maybe for some it's subtle, but the mocking is there, and works at subconscious level in the consumer. There is a subliminal message. Try to be impartial, and tell me, after watching the commercial which phone do you want to buy, and why?
"Ads that compare the product features with the competitors' on the basis of the actual facts cannot be called as unethical."
In this case the ad went beyond comparing products. It's mocking the competitor's users. As I said below, consumers have nothing to do with the war of the manufacturers.
I also question the need of the companies for comparing products as a marketing strategy. Shouldn't they limit themselves to show the qualities and advantages of their products only instead, leaving consumers the task of comparing before making the purchase decision?
Do you think I am wrong here?
You know, I have started to think that these campaigns have become so powerful that it's as if they were hyptonizing consumers. :(
I still feel there is nothing unethical in Samsung's Ad.
The marketing campaigns are like wars or in today's world we can compare them with the political campaigns .
And nothing strikes more with the target audience than a satire or kind of a mockery ( as you say) .
Just hitting hard with bare facts does not work many times. Only the knowledgeable consumers will be able to understand them
Even here in India I saw an Ad of a dual SIM smartphone where a young girl ridicules an elderly person who is handling two not so smart phones at a time to manage his work. Here I saw a message for the older generation to move over to the newer generation of phones - So it does not mock at them but mocks at their older way of working.
I agree with you - the advert is OK. Meanwhile, smartphone markets being currently full of stratagem, i think. Let us see how many punches all these competitors could throw as the smartphone markets developing daily - mobility.
I personally do not like ads making fun of others. I think it just shows the inferiority complex in you. There have been news doing the rounds that Samsung has been paying bloggers and students to write bad reviews for competitor's smartphones. This is just plain stupidity. Its Samsung thinks that its smartphones are way cool and way better than others then leave it so.
"As a consumer, you might find these commercials funny at the beginning. But will they affect consumer behavior?'
Susan, due to heavy competition, companies may adopt different strategies for marketing their products. In most cases they may try to say about something superior than their competitors in a gentle way. But I know that in certain cases they may make fun about competitors too. Whether we have to take it serious or just as fun, depends up on the viewers.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.