I keep thinking about this superbowl ad for Samsung and wanted to share why I think this commercial completely failed to identify and speak to the correct audience. As a reminder, the ad features 'hardcore Apple fans' - the ones who are willing to stand in light overnight for a new product release - falling in love with Samsung's Galaxy Note and abandoning their beloved Apple for someone new.
I'm sure it sounded great in the pitch - we want to show that this phone is so awesome it can convert even the most diehard fan. We'll show images of freedom and liberation from the oppressive Apple regime and people will surely want to go and check it out after that! The problem is, clearly the people featured in the ad aren't going to abandon the iPhone. I mean, honestly, can anyone credibly argue that the apple hardcore fan is going to buy a Samsung phone instead of an iPhone?!
OK, maybe the audience is not the hardcore apple fan, it's the disaffected Apple customer? I mean, they are clearly positioning this phone as the exciting alternative to the iPhone with all sorts of freedom and liberation imagery... The problem with this theory is that the iPhone represents the 3 top selling smart phones right now; and, more importantly, based on pretty much every customer satisfaction survey that I've seen (here's just one of many), there probably aren't enough disaffected iPhone customers to make a business case for a company the size of Samsung.
So, if they're not marketing to the fanboys and they're only maybe going to get some minimal interest from existing iPhone owners, whose left? The obvious is people who don't have an iPhone already - for whatever reason. There are people out there who don't own an iPhone - shocking though that may seem... And if that is the case, then the choice to market the Galaxy Note as an iPhone killer - which essentially is what they're saying - is entirely wrong. People who don't own an iPhone already don't own one for a reason. Which means they aren't looking for an iPhone killer. In fact, I think you could argue that what they really want is a phone that has absolutely nothing to do with an iPhone at all. Which is why the ad, in my opinion, was a fail.