Samsung turns Ice Bucket Challenge into ad mocking iPhone

Everyone is dousing themselves with buckets of cold water for charity. But should the Galaxy S5 be doing it too?

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Dripping in commerce? Samsung/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If you're in any way famous, you've recently been pointing a camera at yourself and pouring ice water on your head -- or, at least, asking one of your assistants to do the pouring for you.

It's all for a good cause -- fighting ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), better knows as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Some tech types have used their ingenuity to make their own challenge more memorable. Bill Gates, for example.

Now Samsung has come along to use the challenge as a way of boasting that the Galaxy S5 is waterproof. In a video posted to YouTube by its UK arm, the S5 first gets doused.

It's cold, but it won't hurt the phone, as it has IP67 certified waterproofing, allowing it to be ducked for 30 minutes in 3 feet of water, according to Samsung.

This story isn't all (or even at all) altruistic.

Once wet, the S5's slightly dismembered-sounding voice says: "I nominate the iPhone 5S, the HTC One M8 and Nokia Lumia 930."

You'll never guess, but all these phones might just be less water-resistant than Samsung's phone. So here we have a video that's supposed to be for charity, but is actually an ad for Samsung.

There will be those who think this terribly clever, a marvelous melding of doing good and making good money.

Samsung Mobile UK, on Twitter, encouraged donations to the ALS Foundation (though this ad doesn't). Samsung also told Creativity that it had, itself, made a donation of an unspecified amount.

I fancy, though, that there might be one or two people who will sniff that charity work should be just that. It shouldn't be infected by mundane product messages, designed to make a buck out of someone else's ill luck.

If you want to make a donation, make a donation. If you want to pour water over your CEO for a good cause, go ahead. Pouring water over your CEO's head is likely a good cause in itself.

I have contacted Samsung to ask whether it might have had second thoughts about this particular video.

This feels at least as much like an ad for Samsung as an expression of the company's magnanimity. Perhaps someone should have poured cold water on the idea, not the phone.

 

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