The video: Samsung and Apple are at it again. No, not in the courtroom, but on your TV. The Korean manufacturer's latest spot, released this week, takes jabs at the throngs of Apple faithful braving long lines for the new iPhone 5. In the 90-second ad (watch it below), dubbed "The Next Big Thing is Already Here," Galaxy S III users mock the iPhone 5's arguably inconvenient new dock connector before reminding the iSheep that their Android handset already has 4G and a big screen. In the kicker, a Galaxy S III user tells a few members in the line that he's just saving a space for someone else... who turn out to be his older, tragically un-hip parents. Samsung, which has long caricatured eager iPhone buyers in its commercials, isn't shy about its disdain for its rival. But is the new commercial a clever attack or are the swipes starting to feel petty?
The reaction: This is pretty "feisty," even by Samsung's standards, says Chris Velazco at TechCrunch. The Galaxy-maker's depiction of line-goers as "doe-eyed iPhone apologists probably won't elicit much in the warm-and-fuzzy feelings department." But it's a savvy way of keeping the Galaxy S III at the top of people's minds when they're shopping for phones in the next few months. Samsung's saying "Hey kids — the iPhone is for old fogies!" says Rich Trenholm at CNET. It's fine when companies take swings at each other, but when consumers get caught in the middle? "Not cool." Yes, it's "corny," says John Gruber at Daring Fireball, but remember: Samsung is playing Pepsi to Apple's Coke. These ads are effective because they target people who already hate Apple, the ones who agree "the iPhone 5 is a feat of marketing hype, not engineering and design savvy." Ads like this confirm Samsung "isn't playing for first place, they're playing for second place." Decide for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
Subscribe to the Week