Samsung flubs its Apple Super Bowl dis

Samsung's big Super Bowl ad for the Note may have brought on a few chuckles, but it failed in one big way, says CNET's Josh Lowensohn.

A still from Samsung's Super Bowl ad.
Samsung

commentary Samsung wants fanboys to leave Apple's lines...only to get into another queue?

That's the footnote on an otherwise entertaining TV ad by Samsung that aired during the Super Bowl yesterday.

As it's done before, Samsung's pitch was effectively "why wait in line when you could have this, and have it right now?!" going so far as to say "the next big thing is already here...again." In this case, the only problem with that is that the product being advertised is not out yet.

The Note, the gadget that's a cross between a phone and a tablet, made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. It hits stores February 19, which is a week from this coming Sunday. While not that far off from a release, Samsung's angle here is perhaps a tad disingenuous.

Samsung/CNET
Which one is it Samsung?
Which one is it Samsung? Samsung/CNET

Much of the drive behind Samsung's ad campaign--which, to be sure, is quite funny to someone who's covered just about every Apple product launch for the past few years--has been availability. Samsung's not so subtly been poking fun at the fact that people have a habit of lining up for Apple's products. But what exactly are these shoppers lining up for, and in multiple cities no less?

When Samsung began this campaign, the target was clear : the iPhone 4S. The device had been released just weeks before the ad came out, and there were places where people were still lining up to get one. In February though? Not so much.

Perhaps then everyone's in line for the iPad 3 in this ad, a product that has not yet been announced. That's actually believable in a ripped-from-the-headlines sort of way given that there was a man who did just that last August, nearly a month before Apple even took the wraps off what would turn out to be the iPhone 4S.

Of course the bigger overarching poke at Apple are the features, which the ad works to drive home by pointing out one of the line-goers being impressed with it having a stylus ("It's got a pen!?") and offering the capability to draw on photos, shoot video, and do video chats with friends. Short of the stylus, which late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said "nobody" wanted while introducing the iPhone in 2007, those are all features iPhone users have had for the past two generations of devices.

So what should people be taking away from this ad then? The same thing we got from the last one, which is that the fight between these two companies in the courtroom has now entered your living room, and has the final destination of your pocket and pocketbook. As soon as you can buy the thing, that is.

 

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