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Samsung's New Ad Against Apple Backfires as Fans Come to the Rescue


Apple's brand protects it from its enemies and guarantees that it succeeds... but for how long?

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL If any company has a good reason to have it out for Apple (AAPL), it's Samsung (SSNLF). Last month, the electronics manufacturer was ordered to pay $1 billion to the iPhone maker after losing a landmark patent trial. Samsung saw an opportunity for revenge, however, in the lukewarm reception given to the iPhone 5. This weekend, the company quickly tried to capitalize on the disappointment of Apple fans with an ad focused on embarrassing the new product.

Samsung's "It Doesn't Take a Genius" ad is a side-by-side comparison of the newly announced iPhone 5 and Samsung's already available Galaxy S3. The ad shows a split screen, one half dedicated to a paltry list of features for the iPhone 5 and the other displaying the Galaxy's S3's superior specifications and programs. Interestingly, Samsung's chief marketing officer is an ex-Research In Motion (RIMM) executive who has been particularly effective in harnessing social media.

Naturally, the ad neglects to mention many of the iPhone 5's capabilities and exaggerates the Galaxy's features. But even with this bias off the table, the ad should have been successful in revealing that the iPhone 5 isn't the dramatic step forward it could have been. The phone was being compared to a product already on the market, so how groundbreaking could it be?

Apple fans didn't see it that way. In a matter of hours, several versions of the ad edited and photoshopped by Apple's white knights went viral. Some of the edits simply revealed the iPhone 5's features that were equivalent to those of the Galaxy S3, but some ads went so far as to accuse Samsung's phone of being a copy of Apple's design. Other ads even called Samsung's propaganda an example of bullying.

Whether it makes sense or not, the fans' responses prove that a strong brand might be the most valuable asset a company can have. Although Apple's stock is the highest it has ever been, and analysts expect it will rise higher in the near future, there were many who doubted that the company would continue to maintain its personality and fan base after the death of Steve Jobs.

The Apple brand did seem to take a hit after its court victory over Samsung; many Internet forums, such as and, were quick to mock Apple through memes accusing it of being hypocritical, overprotective of its technology, and just another big business concerned only with making profits.

Despite the perceived disappointment surrounding the iPhone 5, its preorder sales have been record-breaking: Apple sold 2 million units in just 24 hours. As always, fans have already started camping out in front of stores in anticipation of the September 21 release date.

Perhaps Samsung just struck too soon. Apple seems to have lost its edge for innovation with its last few releases, and it faces competition on all fronts from companies like Amazon (AMZN) with its newly improved Kindle tablets, Google (GOOG) with its Android Operating System, and Microsoft (MSFT) with its various Windows products.

Its recent decision to close its social network, Ping, proves that Apple might not be as popular as it thinks it is. The company's leaders have already proven themselves to be tough enemies in court, so maybe it's time to start focusing on the consumer again.
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