Ego tripping comes in all forms; from a kid’s “my daddy’s car is better than yours” to a grownup’s “get outta my face with your twisted, split ended plastic weave”. Almost everyone wants to be (seen as?) better than others. Brands are not left out. Barbed jabs are thrown in form of ads, barely concealed with faux veil of mystery surrounding the competitor in focus.
Now, you know of the two mobile technology brands that are always like Trump and The Rocket Man? Yes, those ones. For a while now, the two giants have been still. Until recently when Samsung stirred and threw a shot at Apple. It wasn’t even a shot, it was a kaboom in the guise of a TV commercial titled “Growing Up”. This latest comparative advert is bold and egoistic, a blatant ‘in your face’ to Apple. It hit hard, just like The Next Big Thing ad series of 2014. Basically Samsung wants us, the consumers, to file it in our memory drives that it has been consistently innovative than Apple in the past ten years.
Although Samsung has got quite adept at balancing the tricky stick between humour and targeted ‘shades’ quite well, it has unwittingly made it glaring that Apple is a big log in its eye. This is the flip-side of comparative advertising; you are in a way admitting your competitor gives you a hell of a migraine. You are positioning yourself as an under dog. To look on the positive side, this position can be of advantage if you know how to work it. So far, Samsung is doing a good job.
Do Apple’s fans care? Maybe not. Yes, in recent years Apple’s edge as a radical innovator has become as blunt as a 100year old grandma’s tooth. Many know this, but that hasn’t stopped the product orders from raining. Why? Apple has built its brand in such a way that its products have become a signature of relevance in new age culture, placing focus on aesthetics, exclusivity and existing tech improvement. Meanwhile Samsung has positioned itself as a direct competitor to Apple, shouting itself hoarse with “I’m better, buy me, I’m better!”
On a lighter note, it may yet be that Samsung’s yells are finally being heard. At the GTBank Fashion Weekend 2017, we heard more than a couple of A-listers expressing interest in buying the Samsung S8 majorly because of the camera. Though this is as a result of a functionality fail on the part of Apple and not the dissing ad, Samsung may well be coming out of Apple’s shadow where it placed itself. But if it turns out that all that the Growing Up commercial ends up being is just an expensive corporate ego trip with no positive effect on sales, Samsung can console itself with the fact that at least we were entertained.