Samsung is pulling out all the stops to take on Apple (and increasingly, everybody else), but as the ads shown by both companies during the Oscars prove, it’s hard — to mix metaphors – to hit a moving target.
Let’s place the Apple ad in context by first acknowledging that Samsung is on a tear:
· It’s catching up to Apple in the tablet market (by unit volume, anyway), though Apple still led as of the third quarter of 2014 with 22.8% of the global market, vs. Samsung’s # 2 position at 18.3% (in fact, Apple’s year over year tablet growth shrunk by 12.8% while Samsung grew by 5.6%).
· It already sells more cell phones than Apple (24.4% vs. Apple in #2 position at 12.7% in the third quarter of 2014, but Samsung is beginning to lose share to Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo.
So what does all of this have to do with our headline?
Because the one fact we haven’t mentioned is that while Samsung leads in unit volume, Apple is KILLING Samsung on profitability and brand loyalty.
In other words, with Android-based systems (the basis of all Samsung tablets and phones) competing on price and the Chinese nipping at its heels, Samsung has to distinguish itself from the lower end: it has to become more like Apple by offering a superior product, experience, and brand affinity.
And they’re trying like hell to do just that.
Which means Apple has to keep upping its game – which, to be fair, it seems to do irrespective of Samsung or not.
Then again, the greatest rivalries in history – Frazier/Ali, Jobs/Gates, Tesla/Edison, McEnroe/Conners – always demanded that the competitors rise to the top of their games.
The Samsung/Apple rivalry was on full display during the Oscars last night, and it was outstanding.Apple Shoots Oscar Ad on iPad Air 2 Click To Tweet
Samsung came out of the gate early with a beautifully-shot, Apple-esque series of ads. Taking several pages out of Apple’s playbook, the product shots were as clean and simple as anything you’d see in an iPhone launch video, and the hip people thing was…hip (I don’t really remember anything more than they were hip).
But saunter over to Samsung’s web site for my favorite hip people vid of theirs: a cool start with a reference to THE BIG LEBOWSKI; and then, among other things, Key & Peele with a wonderful brainstorm for a one-episode counterpart to LOST which they’d call FOUND; members of SPINAL TAP playing with a tablet; a cute kid dancing to a scene from DESPICABLE ME; and a couple at home binge-watching what looks like HOUSE OF CARDS.
Expensive as all get-out, and great fun.
And… derivative (though definitely better than the campaign Samsung ran in 2012 satirizing Apple fanboys waiting on line for the newest Apple device).
But I began to wonder: where’s Apple? And then: how can Apple top this?
Somewhere around an hour and a half in, the Apple ad came up, almost unrecognizably small as it began. But I concluded within seconds that they’d pulled it off – they’d raised the bar.
There was legendary director Martin Scorsese providing the kind of inspiring narration that a year ago Robin Williams gave us with Apple’s “Your Verse”. But this time the subjects were LA County High School for the Arts students, shooting their projects over a weekend with iPads (and jibs, dollies, rigs, and who-knows-what-else). The kicker? The whole commercial – a behind-the-scenes look at the kids’ efforts — was also shot on an iPad Air 2 (I’m guessing a pile of ‘em, but I’m not sure).
In one fell swoop, Apple managed to do the following:
· Focus on creators with their passion and hard work, rather than consumers (reinforcing Apple’s primacy among the creative class, as in: “We get you. We are you.”)
· Focus on the future, our youth (and implicitly showing Apple’s commitment to both)
· Focus obliquely, perhaps subliminally, on income inequality (very, very clever: this ad stood in sharp contrast to the last shot-on-an-iPad-or-iPhone ad which was done with the car manufacturer Bentley — the height of conspicuous consumption — even as we consume tremendous quantities of all kinds of things like rare earth magnets when we buy iPads and iPhones. It also stood in sharp contrast to the Your Verse series with its mix of global locations and fantastically expensive-to-get-to settings)
· Highlight Apple’s own evolution and understanding of the world in which we live
· Define beauty as something one can create from very little (not really, but OK)
· Tug at the heart strings for those of us who remember Robin Williams fondly
· Remind those of us who have more than a passing interest in filmmaking that ultimately it’s always about the story
Maybe I’m giving Apple too much credit.
But I don’t think so.
Apple shot its Oscars ad with the iPad Air 2
Via The Verge:
Apple just debuted its Oscars ad and unsurprisingly, it's centered around making movies. The commercial features several groups of high school students as they shoot different projects using the iPad as their camera, overlaid by an inspirational voiceover from Martin Scorsese, who extolls the virtues of hard work and experimentation as the keys to creative success. And while the piece has the kind of delicate score and evocative images that one would expect from an Apple ad, the spot was actually shot on the iPad Air 2 itself.
For the commercial, Apple partnered with the LA County High School for the Arts, a performing and visual arts school located in Los Angeles. Student filmmakers were provided with iPads and shot their projects over a weekend, during which their efforts were documented — also using an iPad Air 2. That behind-the-scenes footage is what makes up the ad.
Read full article at The Verge “Apple shot its Oscars ad with the iPad Air 2”
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(cover photo credit: snap from the video)