As College Humor showed us a few weeks ago, tech commercials all seem to strum at the same set of emotional chords, hammering on sentimental buzzwords like "connectivity" and "moments" and "nostalgia." Samsung hits on a few of these notes in a similarly themed advertisement for its very pretty new Galaxy Gear smartwatch:
The ad, which ran during Sunday's slew of NFL games, walks us through a brief history of smartwatches in pop culture, from The Jetsons to Dick Tracy to Star Trek. And while reviews for the Gear are lukewarm at best, the commercial is scoring some pretty high praise. It's an "epic blast of nostalgia," writes Vlad Savov at The Verge. The gadget itself may be getting "poor reviews," says Steve Kovach at Business Insider, "but the commercials for the gadget are pretty sweet."
But the narrative trick employed by Samsung here is something we've actually come across before — back in 2007, when Apple released the first iPhone.
Here's the iPhone's first-ever commercial, which debuted during the Academy Awards:
While it's not the first time Samsung has "borrowed" tactics from Apple (and vice-versa), it's not hard to imagine the thinking behind this. The first iPhone was a category-redefining product that earned Apple billions; Samsung would very much like the Galaxy Gear to do the same for wearables. That may happen in a generation or two when the technology and price shrink a bit. But not yet.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The girl who wouldn't die
Subscribe to the Week