GENESIS: With Apple's position in the smartphone market strong and getting stronger, Samsung has been trying to siphon off share by humorously portraying its rival's fans as slaves to an unseeing sheep mentality. A launch spot in November got huge play by showing Apple devotees waiting listlessly in line for the latest iProduct, only to be impressed—and unnerved—by a bystander's Samsung Galaxy S II. "I could never get a Samsung. I'm creative," one of the slackers says stoically. "There's just a cultural truth around Apple fans," said Bryan Rowles, creative director at Samsung agency 72andSunny. More ads continued the theme. Then, agency and client decided to wrap the series with a circus-like spot on the Super Bowl. Directed by Bobby Farrelly, it begins, like the others, with Apple fans in line. Then, seeing the new Galaxy Note, they break out of the barriers, liberated at last, and celebrate at a massive block party, singing and dancing to The Darkness's 2003 cheese-rock anthem "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." "There's a shelf life to the joke," said Rowles. "We wanted to go out with a bang."
COPYWRITING: The core of the campaign has been the lethargic, comical clichés uttered by the Apple hipsters. "It took a while to get the tone of voice right," Rowles said. "We had to find that dry sense of humor, being smart at the same time as being kind of dumb. I think in the end what happened was, Apple fans were like, 'Yeah, we're kinda like that.' And people who aren't Apple fans were like, 'Yeah, Apple fans are like that.' " Scripting the Super Bowl spot was all about going over the top—singer Justin Hawkins from The Darkness, in a pink-and-white striped bodysuit, kicks off the party, which includes a marching band, choir, motocross riders, and a guy getting shot out of a cannon.
ART DIRECTION: All the spots have had a flat, washed-out look to visually embody the boredom of waiting in line. "The color grade was purposefully desaturated, a little bit milky," said Rowles. More color and warmth was pumped into the second half of the Super Bowl commercial to boost the party atmosphere.
FILMING: This was the first TV spot for Farrelly, who, with his brother Peter, has directed movies like There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin. "Bobby brought fun," said Rowles. "He knows how to go from zero to 60. There's not many people who can go big better than him. He made it a party."
TALENT: The Apple fans, many of whom had recurring roles, were cast partly for their hipster appearance, but mostly for their acting. The agency was pleased to get Hawkins to join in—a fun little Easter egg for the band's fans. Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher also has a cameo, signing an autograph on the Note using its stylus, the one product feature that's singled out.
SOUND: "There was always this idea of making it a musical," said Rowles. The Darkness song "really fit the strategy well, which is falling out of love with being in line and falling in love with something new."
MEDIA: It was one of only two :90s in the Super Bowl (Kia had the other; Chrysler aired a :120). "For us, that's like making Dances With Wolves. That's like a three-hour movie," said Rowles. "Having those precious extra seconds let the front end bleed out a little bit and let the boredom come through. Then we get into the party." The spot has been airing post-Super Bowl in :60 and :30 cutdowns, but there will be no new executions. "Our fanboys are free," said Rowles. "They can't get back in line."
Spot: "Thing Called Love"
Agency: 72andSunny, Los Angeles
ECD/CEO: Jon Boiler
Creative Director: Bryan Rowles
Creative Director: Tim Wolfe
Agency Producer: Danielle Tarris
Production Company: Rabbit Content
Director: Bobby Farrelly
DP: Matt Leonetti
Executive Producer: Douglas Howell
Executive Producer: Joby Barnhart
Producer: Gary Romano
Editorial: Cut + Run
Editor: Steve Gandolfi
Editor: Frank Effron
Assistant Editor: Sean Stender
Editorial Head of Production: Christie Price
Editorial Executive Producer: Michelle Burke
Postproduction: Company 3
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Post EP: Rhubie Jovanov
VFX: The Mission
VFX Creative Director: Rob Trent
VFX Executive Producer: Michael Pardee
CG Supervisor: Piotr Karwas
Onset VFX Supervisor/Compositor: Brad Scott
Lead Compositor: Joey Brattesani
Compositor: Katrina Salicrup
Compositor: Christopher Moore
Graphic Designer: Aaron Benoit
Animator: Samir Lyons
Roto: Chris Cortese
VFX Producer: Diana Cheng
VFX Producer: Ryan Meredith
Audio Post: Mix Studio
Mixer: John Bolen
Assistant: Ryan Sturup
EP: Lauren Cascio
Music: South Music
Composer: Chris James
Arranger: Jon Darling
Sound Design: Barking Owl
Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
EP: Kelly Bayett