Taking a bite out of Apple

Another apple has fallen from the tree; actually make that two – the iPhone6 and the iPhone6 Plus. As per usual, Apple Inc. lovers can’t wait to get their hands on the upgrades – the company reported a record 4 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours alone. With such a fervent following it’s hard to imagine Apple doesn’t have a strong hold on the market. However, when it comes to the technology present in today’s smart phones, Apple isn’t the only one putting out the latest and greatest software, often times other manufacturers’ devices are just as competitive – some, such as Samsung, even claiming theirs is better.

It is no secret Samsung’s marketing strategy is built on the idea of mocking Apple culture. Many of the Samsung commercials take to comically criticizing Apple products and their “innovation”. Remember this commercial for the Galaxy S II?

In response to the new iPhones, Samsung released a television commercial called “Then And Now”. Highlighting the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that is being released in October, it takes a stab at Apple’s innovation claiming the iPhone6 and iPhone6 Plus imitate their Galaxy Note, which has been promoting big displays since 2011.

The commercial continues to show the features the iPhones lack, such as the ability run two apps simultaneously on the screen, and the ability to hand write content and have the text transferred to electronic message. Finally, ending with a reminder of the Galaxy Note 4 release date in October.

This rebuttal of negative rhetoric is now expected with every Apple release or announcement. It has been four years since the first mock print ad appeared, according to the The Verge . [Check out this article to see more Samsung ads in this attack strategy.] But as marketers, we have to ask ourselves, are these attack ads working? Is the trade off of highlighting and associating your brand with the competition worth it?

It seems the answer tends to be both yes and no. Brian Conlin, argues no in his post on the dangers of negative marketing, making a case that seems more than applicable for some of the Samsung ads. Why spend your resources explaining a competitor’s shortcoming, when you can be extoling the virtues of your own product, he says.

However, there are positives to such negative marketing. As Corey Eridon points out in his post, negative marketing can stir up controversy, which leads to natural PR, more traffic, more brand definition and, most importantly, elicits strong emotions from consumers.

These results are exactly what Samsung is aiming for with their negative campaigning. And from my experience it IS working – not necessarily persuading people, but at least keeping the pot stirred. The media continues to report on the Samsung vs. Apple rivalry. Marketing Week just reported on the campaign again this morning: article here. As an Apple user and fan, I have first hand experience defending my beloved brand from the so-called Apple haters.

We know what Samsung’s approach to Apple has been, but what is Apple doing in response? After four years, Apple still makes a point to ignore the attacks, going with the philosophy of P.T. Barnum, “I don’t care what people say about me as long as they say something”.  Samsung is simply creating free publicity for a brand that continues to show the utmost confidence in their original, innovative products and fans.

Whether or not you’re an Apple or Samsung user, these two brand names are linking together— as rivals. Even though Samsung holds double the marketshare, 31%, as compared to Apple’s 15%, Apple has continuously showed their customer loyalty will give any competitor a run for their money. Despite attempting to showcase that they are better, Samsung is not being remembered for their revolutionary tech products, but for their mockery.

What kind of phone do you have? Are you an avid iPhone fan like us? What is it that keeps you sticking with Apple? Have the Samsung ads made you second-guess your choice? How long can Samsung ride this marketing strategy for its products? They have been at it for a few years and Apple fans are still as loyal.

– Caroline Robinson & Savannah Valade


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s