SamsungMobile USA launched a web commercial campaign yesterday to promote AT&T’s Galaxy S series Captivate with two YouTube videos depicting real life situations in which one might need a Galaxy Smartphone. The situations that Samsung has chosen convey a message that some women, or men, might not appreciate or find to be in bad taste. Take and look and decide if you find them to be a little sexist.
The first video shows a couple driving on a road trip with the man in the driver’s seat and the woman being what you might call obnoxious, distracting and annoying to her boyfriend. He passes over his Samsung phone to her and she essentially mellows out and keeps quiet. The second video depicts a young man at a board meeting that is totally enthralled in his phone and yells out statements about games he is playing that just happen to correspond with what his boss wants to hear. I imagine that the first message about gender roles pushes more sensitivity buttons than the second as it really is showing Samsung as an efficient tool for shutting up your irritating girlfriend. Is this funny or sexist and is it crossing any lines? Take a look.
The second ad might not push any sensitivity buttons with viewers, or maybe it might. It depicts the Galaxy Phone as outlet to escape from hard honest work and float by in a company while at the same time winning your bosses affection. This depiction is just not true to life. Maybe audiences would be more prone to purchase a Samsung phone if a commercial showed practical functionalities for the phone in work related situations. I’m not saying the commercials aren’t funny, but I’m also not saying that I think I’ll get a promotion at work as a result of being lazy and buying an Samsung Phone.
Even if some women or men have taken offense to either of these ads, how many of those people realistically will be lost consumers to Samsung? The likely answer is that those who choose not to buy Samsung products because they take issue with their messages will not even make a dent in Samsung’s product consumption. It’s more plausible that the benefits of these kinds of ads will outweigh the costs because let’s face it, people love their low brow humor.
What I couldn’t help but notice about these videos is that they’re not sending even a little information of what Galaxy has to offer. What is it’s unique value and what can I do with it? Without presenting the technological value, perhaps this branding tactic of web advertising really simply does work because people are more likely to watch a funny video than one with only dry factual data. However, a video that contains both facts and humor would probably be an improvement over these videos.
What do you think of these ads and do you believe the video of the stereotypically irritating girlfriend is funny or sexist? Even more interesting, have you experienced a situation where your smartphone gadget has successfully been able to quiet down a noisy road trip partner?