Steve Wiley on The New Samsung Galaxy Commercials, Hipster Oracles, and Why He's Still Keeping His iPhone
I've about had enough of those two stinkin' Samsung Galaxy ads with the goofs in line to buy their iPhones.
I'm going to assume you've seen these things. The target market seems to be everyone. If it isn't everyone, then whatever it is, I'm a big part of it, because I've seen them enough to puke, and that's in spite of a huge effort to avoid all commercials.
Don't get me wrong, as an advertising major in college, I recognize that it's a fantastic ad campaign (paradox alert: I'm scrutinizing commercials as I try to avoid them). Totally effective at mocking the seemingly-untouchable Apple. Creativity, reach, and holy shit is there frequency. I couldn't forget about it if I wanted to - and I do want to - but instead, here I am I'm writing about it.
However, even though I appreciate the ad as a businessman (and I use that term loosely), it's making me crazy as a hipster scoffer. Because of two annoying parts in particular:
The first one is the scene where the ultra-hipster - and I say "ultra" because in my opinion anyone who gets in line to get a fuckin' phone is already either a hipster or a hipster-wannabe, and this guy is obviously the hipster oracle (crowned by that annoying hat) - let's everyone in on the fact that he's a Galaxy user who's just holding a place in line for someone else.
Seconds later, we find out "someone else" is the Hipster King's parents. The King looks over at the other toads with a dismissive look, gives his parents a mock command, and then his clueless mother asks if "this is the line for apps".
An annoyingly close second, and equally over-the-hip-top moment in the other ad, is where the two skinny-guy techsters touch phones to the amazement of the luddites in the Apple line. How do I know that these two weasels have achieved ultra-hip status? Just in case the clothes weren't enough, after the one guy comes down off his throne to explain that he's just "giving him a playlist", he gives the other wonder boy a "who are these idiots" look, and says, "See you at the studio."
Gag reflex engaged. You think that guy could have given him the playlist at the studio instead of biking down (we can imply a bike because no one this cool would drive a car) to the Apple store to do it. I can just see the Ad Agency brainstorming room. "I know, let's have them say they're from a studio". Because everyone knows that studios are cool, man.
The commercials signify that somehow, if you are an iPhone user, you've now entered some sort of antiquated club full of clueless non-techsters.
Are you kidding me?
I couldn't care less what kind of phone anyone has, but I've had an iPhone for a couple of years now, and let me tell you what, if you've got one, and it's not doing enough for you, you'd better rethink things a bit. You may have some priority issues (see related Saturday Night Live "Tech Talk" skit above).
Mine is just a poor old iPhone 4, so it doesn't crack jokes for me like the new ones do for Martin Scorsese... but it does everything else but brush my teeth (and I'm sure there's an app for that on the way). I'm sure if I want to open another business, I can probably just do it on this phone.
I'm not worried that it can't do enough, I'm worried it's going to become self-aware and take over the house.
So in spite of fact I won't be able to enjoy the intimacy of touching phones with my fellow tech demigods, I think I'll just stick with the iPhone.
In fact, I've even recommended that my parents get one.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about upcoming performances, exhibitions, openings and special events happening in the Phoenix art and theater scene.