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.