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Survey declares Apple brand 'less inspiring'

A survey performed by Added Value suggests the Samsung brand is now as inspiring as Apple in the U.S. One small caveat might be that Added Value is owned by WPP, which happens to be one of Samsung's ad agencies.

Apple's ads haven't been too inspirational of late.
Apple Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

One shouldn't rely on the same sources of inspiration every day.

Sometimes, even the finest of one's muses just doesn't amuse. Sometimes, even the greatest of one's heroes gets drunk and bangs his head on the pedestal as he falls.

However, one brave enterprise wished to measure the brands that inspire real human beings the most.

It is called Added Value. It has just released its list of the most inspiring. Perhaps the information that might cause the most perspiring in certain parts of the West Coast is that apparently Apple's brand has become less inspiring.

As the BBC reports, this fine, detailed, and nuanced analysis offered that Samsung and Apple are now on an equally inspirational footing in the U.S.

This conclusion was reached by examining the "cultural vibrancy" of 160 very famous brands.

Regular readers will know that here at Technically Incorrect, we vibrate culturally at the sight of any survey which purports to offer new and deep truths.

And one truth is that Samsung and Apple appear in Added Value's Top 10 of culturally vibrant brands, so it's not as if Apple has suddenly fallen away and become, say, Sharp.

Added Value explained:

Apple's global VIBE is stronger overall, but Samsung's VIBE -- just behind Apple's -- is more stable across countries. Apple's VIBE is being pulled into the stratosphere by the devotion it has earned in the USA, Western Europe, and Australia. It's a bumpier road for the brand in Asia, and more tempered in Brazil too.

("VIBE" is the buzzy acronym Added Value uses to signify cultural vibrancy.)

It would, though, be fair to point out another truth, which some may find relevant (and others not).

Added Value is owned by WPP. WPP was appointed in November last year as one of the ad agency groups for, well, Samsung.

Advertising is such that there are only four or five groups that dominate the whole business. So perhaps it's inevitable that there might be severe cross-pollination.

Moreover, there is no doubt that Samsung has made great progress in bathing its brand in a vibrant and youthful image in the U.S.

It was certainly the most talented tech advertiser of last year, just as clearly as Apple was not.

And Samsung will, no doubt, be delighted to join the likes of Ikea, Microsoft, Sony, BMW, Audi, Coca-Cola and eBay on the Top 10 list of brands that enjoy huge cultural traction.

Some, though, will still remain skeptical about results such as these. They might say to themselves: "Sony and eBay still have cultural traction?"