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Samsung's new Galaxy S III ads: Apple fanboy now owns Samsung

Three ads for Samsung's new Galaxy S III suggest a confidence on the part of Samsung. Any Apple-bashing is implied, rather than expressed. However, look closely and he who played an Apple fanboy now has a Samsung.

Samsung Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET
And so the Apple fanboy is now a Samsungite. Samsung Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Sometimes, you can tell when a company rather likes the product it's advertising.

It manages to restrain some of the baser impulses of its marketing department and displays the product with a certain understatement.

I have a feeling Samsung rather likes its Galaxy S III phone.

There have now been three ads to accompany the launch. While you couldn't say they necessarily hang together as a whole, you can definitely say that Samsung is over trying to tell you that you're a sad little Apple fanboy sheep, working part time as a barista.

Well, almost.

There was a time -- even this year -- when Samsung decided that Apple needed to be tweaked. Slapped over the head with a wet hammer, actually.

A succession of ads featured Cupertino Cultists standing in line outside an Apple store, waiting for the latest, allegedly lame, coming.

This culminated in a Super Bowl ad so insanely extreme that both laughter and tears were entirely appropriate reactions.

For the Galaxy S III, though, the act is, well, no longer an act.

Samsung tried to reach for humanity in its initial ad, which goes all cuddly-feely by showing not merely lovers sharing through a glass window, but a baby's little hand grasping that of its parent.

Original, it isn't. But claiming some of Apple's emotional territory, it most certainly is.

The latest two ads that launched this week offer the long and the short of it. The longer ad is so redolent of Apple's tone that, if you played it to a focus group of the only slightly inebriated and put an iPhone 5 logo at the end, many would find it entirely consistent.

The "What if?" construction of the copy and the confident, reassuring tone of voice feels very Applesque. It's as if Samsung has decided it has every right to step into that emotional territory.

The shorter ad, a 15-second little thing, simply tells you that you can watch the game, while texting the love of your life.

The implication is clear: your iPhone can't do that. However, the confidence of the tone is also very clear.

It says: "We know this phone is a really good competitor. We know that when people see it and feel it, they are moved by it. So we realize that we don't need to bash Apple any more. People might actually like this phone just for its little self."

But then you look a couple of times and see that the anti-Apple message still lives. Some might notice that the lead actor in the short ad played an Apple fanboy standing in line in a previous Samsung Galaxy S II ad.

You see, there is redemption. It just takes a little self-confidence.

Rob the barista from a previous Samsung ad captured with fellow Apple fanboy Peter Bryce. David Carnoy/CNET