Samsung's Apple-bashing ad gets weird Motorola sequel

Commentary: After Samsung slams the last 10 years of the iPhone, Motorola decides to, well, join the conversation.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Wait, what are they doing?

Motorola/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's painful when you don't get invited to the party.

You can sulk. You can post something mean or hurt on Facebook. Or you can just crash the festivities.

This seems to have been Motorola's approach, after Samsung received enormous publicity for bashing the last 10 years of the iPhone.

Should you have missed this seminal ad, Samsung released a commercial (video below) that tried to portray Apple's iconic gadget as a constantly retrograde item that's something of an embarrassment. 

The ad showed a man who kept getting new iPhones, while his lover was wise enough to have Samsung Galaxies. 

In the last scenes, he finally sees the light and somewhat bemusedly strolls past the Apple fanpersons waiting in line for the iPhone X, as he once might have done.

But what phone did he actually buy?

Enter Motorola. It has cast an actor who looks like the one in the Samsung ad. It's unclear what phone he has now, but for all the world I'd say it was a Samsung Galaxy. 

He's happy. Smug, almost. But then his lover comes home. 

She, too, has invested in a new phone. Hers, though, is a Moto Z2 Play. 

This allows her to project their love onto a big screen (with the help of a Moto Mod), which is a complete embarrassment for our hero, as he can only look at their loving moments on his large-screen Galaxy.

My colleague Jessica Dolcourt described the Z2 Play as having a fine battery. However, she felt it wide and uncomfortable to hold. 

In the ad, Motorola describes buying this phone as an "up-upgrade." 

Ah, so Motorola believes that the Galaxy is better than the iPhone, but its own phone is better than the Galaxy. An interesting hope.

Neither Samsung nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment.

Some might mutter, of course, that if you feel your phone is both original and superior, why borrow someone else's ad to sell it?

This ad, though, reveals part of Motorola's struggle.

Samsung and Apple get so much of the media attention. What can you do to turn eyes toward your own brand? 

You go to their party and hope someone notices you're there.

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