Wednesday, September 26, 2012

You Talkin' To Me?

The new one week old* Samsung Galaxy ad is brilliant not just for giving Apple - and their fanboys - a well-deserved clip round the ear, but also for the acute attention to detail on casting and styling. Though the visual and behavioural differences between the Apple fanboys and the Samsung converts are slight, they are nonetheless powerful. These minute signals represent a deep understanding, on behalf of Samsung, for where their potential market lies.

While other technology brands are busy striving to become Apple, Samsung have looked for ways to beat them. And they found it in Apple's customers. In a post-Jobs world, there's a growing legion of Apple devotees who are getting sick of the taste of the Apple kool-aid. They've learnt the value of a great piece of mobile kit, and they're increasingly unconvinced that the iPhone is - or always will be - the only option for their needs.

Furthermore, and as is smartly yet subtly observed in the Samsung ad, Apple customers are fed up with wearing the metaphorical "I'm a Mac" t-shirt at all times. Back in the day (2009), being a "Mac" meant you had taste. You had a subscription to Monocle and Wired. And you wore your artisan aged denim with a Supreme shirt. Now it all feels a bit obvious and, worst of all, normal. As the Samsung ad highlights - even our parents are "Macs" now. Ouch.

Of course, Apple has its eyes on the largest market share possible and will hardly be trembling at the idea of losing its niche group of designer-type fanboys to Samsung. But being both loved and cool is a tricky game for brands, and it rests in the hands of the world's taste makers. If Samsung can lure that group over to their team, it doesn't mean they'll win the game right away but people will still turn out for the show.

*Thanks @planbstudio