Samsung vs. Apple – A Masterclass in Aggressive Advertising


Today, Samsung and Apple are seen as the largest makers of smartphones in the world. Before these two took over, the phone market was run and controlled by companies like Motorola and Nokia. Apple exploded in the market when it launched first iPhone was launched in 2007. The California based company continued to dominate the smartphone market for a few years, until Samsung introduced the Galaxy series. The iPhone had finally met its match. It was Samsung’s massive and aggressive marketing, along with unique Android features, that the Samsung has overtaken Apple to become the most popular smartphone company in the world.

There was a legal battle between the two giants of the mobile market that has been the starting point for a squabble that has only increased over the years, with every new product launch. Apple accused Samsung of plagiarism, and they had a point – Samsung Galaxy S2 looked a lot like the iPhone 4 and the Galaxy Tab was basically an iPad with a different OS. The South Korean country was also accused of copying a lot of whole host of features and navigation methods. Steve Jobs famously had this to say about his biggest competitor –

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this!”

Samsung didn’t get where they have by having a superior device, which is a very open debate, rather, their hilariously hostile approach to advertising only enhanced their size, reputation and reach. Apple, on the other hand has a strange strategy when it comes to promotion – a minimalist presence on social media. It promotes through TV commercials mainly, while Samsung has a presence on an array of social media channels like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

One of the first jabs Samsung took at Apple was a hysterically straightforward. Apple used to be broadly considered as a great innovator and was famous for beautiful designs while Samsung was viewed as a close second for a long time. With the launch of Galaxy S4, Samsung took some not-so- subtle digs at Apple’s restrictive features, as seen below. The caption is a play on how Apple refers to their customer care executives at Geniuses.

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Samsung’s marketing strategy was bold and powerful with the launch of the Galaxy Note 3 as well. There were numerous reports of ‘bent’ iPhones being sold to customers, much to the dissatisfaction of the public. Samsung capitalized, with savage mockery, as seen below.

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The aura of Steve Jobs still benefits Apple greatly, creating a sense of worship. A captivating figure whose story is beyond extraordinary, certainly created a mass following of devoted brand loyal customers. In 2010, Steve Jobs stated that “No one is ever going to buy a big phone” – and Samsung could hardly hold their tongue. They used this quote as the main marketing tactic for the Galaxy Note 4, which sold in stupendous numbers.

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With global advertising, the use of terribly expensive posters or high impact audio-visual campaigns, and amusingly bold content, Samsung wants to be seen to become a leader. They spend billions on marketing, and managed to do what Nokia, Motorola and other companies could only dream of – Dethroning Apple.