Apple’s Former Ad Guru Says Samsung Ads Are Generating More Buzz Than Apple


Ken Segall, the creative director of the Think Different campaign and author of the book Think Simple, a book that details how Steve Jobs worked, believes that Apple is no longer untouchable when it comes to advertising.

He points out that Samsung is generating more buzz by spending a lot more than Apple and with its people-based ads compared to Apple’s product based ads.

In a blog post titled “Apple battling where it used to crush” he writes:

The fact is, it is being touched — often and effectively — by none other than Samsung.

Samsung has made remarkable inroads in a very short time, for two big reasons.

First, it is spending a fortune to run its ads. According to this report, Samsung spends more than Apple, more than HP and Dell, and even more than Coca-Cola to get its message out. In marketing, as in political advertising, the bigger the budget, the bigger the chance of success. Assuming, of course, that the message is a potent one.

The big surprise is that Samsung’s message has proven to be tremendously potent. The company continues to bash away at Apple, delivering ads that are well produced, well written and seem to be striking a nerve.

In contrast to Apple, which has been sticking to its product-based ads, Samsung has been scoring points with its people-based ads — most of which play off some growing negative perceptions about Apple.

He points out how Samsung invested in a two-minute Super Bowl ad, whereas Apple did nothing and the Korean company also created a new story for the Oscars featuring Tim Burton whereas Apple aired a variation of the iPad ad it had run few days back during the Oscars.

While I admit that I am not a big fan of Apple’s ads off late, the numbers don’t seem to suggest that Apple is losing its momentum. At the end of the day, iPhone 5 was the best selling smartphone in the last quarter, and Apple sold more units of the iPhone 4S (which was launched in 2011) than Galaxy S3 units.

In his book Segall had said that to copy Apple, rivals need to build a company like Apple, not just products, but in his blog post he seems to suggest that a bigger advertising budget and ads that take a dig at rivals and their fan base should be more than enough to generate the buzz.

What do you think? Is Apple losing its buzz because of the Samsung ads?

Samsung’s Super Bowl ad:

Samsung’s ad during the Oscars:

Apple’s ad during the Oscars:

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Categories: Apple News, Samsung

  • Willie

    I think these new apple commercials are terrible, but samsung ads sucks too.

    • Pacomacman

      Totally agree. Apple ads used to be classy, especially the voice overs, I’ve even had one of my own apps in one of the commercials back in the day! The recent ads are pretty cheesy, showing generic features every smartphone has. I’m not a fan of Samsungs ads mocking Apple either, using Apples status to get ahead, which to me just seems cheap and desperate. Jobs knew a thing or two about advertising!

      • Rounak Jain

        wow, your own app in a commercial! That’s a big achievement, congrats. Could you tell us which ad was it, and what was the app?

  • iPhoneFreak

    The Samsung commercials captivated my attention. Funny, interesting, then I saw the iPad commercial and it was like crap… I love my New iPad 3rd Gen with retina display, but I think for my next tablet will consider the Tab since I already have switched my iPhone 4S to Galaxy Note 2, best phone I’ve ever had!!!

  • Alan

    What crap! Looks like he is trying to generate some buzz for his book.

    • iPhoneHacks

      That’s exactly what I thought too, which is why I mentioned the last bit.

  • m

    The title should be “those of apple” because there is a comparison error

  • Mark

    I think too that he’s trying to sell his book. The amount of money that one spends to get a message out to the public says nothing about their conversion rate and how many customers they pick up. Look how much money Microsoft spends on their advertising budget and their numbers are plummeting.

    In short it’s not the amount of money one spends, but rather getting the right message to the right market that makes or breaks a marketing campaign