Has Samsung robbed Apple of its cool?

Published on by accessories

Late last month, Samsung released an ad for its new line of Galaxy S II phones that mocked iPhone fans who queue up for the latest model. The ad portrayed iPhone users waiting in an interminable line in New York as smug hipsters, and featured one of the best lines in a commercial in recent memory:

“I could never get a Samsung,” says a bearded young man sporting oversized headphones and a MacBook Pro perched on his lap. “I’m creative.”

“Dude, you’re a barista,” says his dismissive friend.

Here’s the ad, in case you’re one of the four people left in the U.S. who hasn’t seen it.


Of course, it would take a lot more than some Madison Avenue snark to knock the bloom off Apple’s rose, right? After all, Apple’s one of the country’s most-admired brands. Besides, no one lines up for Samsung’s phones . . .

Well, apparently the Samsung campaign is having an effect. Phillp Elmer-DeWitt reports Fortune’s Apple 2.0 blog that Samsung’s “buzz” has passed that of Apple’s iPhone. The report is based on a study by YouGov, which tracks how the public perceives brands.

From the study:

Samsung and iPhone were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which is determined from asking respondents: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.

The iPhone’s buzz score began sinking around November 28, with a buzz score of 33 – the current score is 25. Samsung, whose buzz score was 19 compared to the iPhone’s 29 on October 3rd, is now at 26.


Now, before you Android fanboys start high-fiving one another, here’s a very interesting nugget from the YouGov report:

The downward and upward perception movement of the iPhone and Samsung respectively is driven mostly by adults 50+.

That’s right. The demographic apparently most influenced by the ad is one most apt to react negatively to the portrayal of hipster iPhone users anyway. That may or may not be the demographic Samsung was trying to reach. It may also not be the demographic most apt to shell out $200+ for either a Samsung or Apple smartphone.

And this is the demographic most apt to include folks who’d say things like “I just want a phone that makes calls!” In a study released in July, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that only 24 percent of those aged 50-64 owned a smartphone. By contrast, 52 percent of those 18-29 and 45 percent of those 30-49 owned smartphones.


In other words, the ad may be influencing the wrong people. On the other hand, there’s also more room for sales growth in this older demographic – presuming you can convince them a smartphone would make their lives better.

I’m not sure folks who’d line up for an iPhone are not going to do so because Samsung’s made a clever ad mocking them. And I don’t think the ad is going to cause anyone to say, “I don’t want to be like those hipsters — I’m buying a Samsung smartphone!”

I’d be very curious to see how YouGov statistics for younger respondents.

Published on Smartphone accessories

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