Samsung: The Good, the Bad, and the Messi

Throw together the song of the season, a football god and a tech giant and what do you get? Samsung and Leo Burnett’s contrived, confused Galaxy Note 3 advertisement.  In trying too hard to tap into the cultural zeitgeist and situate its brand amongst some of the most potent emblems of “cool”, Samsung does itself a huge disservice.

For starters, using a song that condemns having “diamonds on your timepiece” to sell a luxury product is misguided.

Samsung tried to throw a social responsibility angle in there as well, but that too, fails.

A millionaire footballer in a thousand dollar suit brandishing a Note 3 amidst a sea of impoverished children is not an image you want in the consumers’ mind. It only triggers the notion of haves vs. have-nots and condemns the materialist, consumerist cultural phenomenon, upon which, companies like Samsung’s existence depends.

It’s not all bad for the industry behemoth though; its Galaxy Gear ad from 72andSunny has been a stunning success. It’s clean design, simple narrative and quirky concept all work well together. Here, the company seems effortlessly “cool” and positions itself as the one guiding the narrative rather than the one “tagging along”. It’s original and it gets the 5-year-old inside each of us to scream in pure joy over our childhood dreams becoming a reality. With nearly 13 million more YouTube views than the flashy Messi spot, it begs the question, is the celebrity endorsement trend on its way out?

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