Samsung Galaxy Gear ad doesn't copy Apple in any way that matters

Samsung has been airing a new Galaxy Gear ad that's structurally similar to the original iPhone ad Apple aired back in 2007. That's brought up the usual copy cat charges but former Apple evangelist Matt Drance points out that the resemblance isn't any more than skin deep. From Apple Outsider:

The Galaxy Gear ad, and the Galaxy Gear itself, convey none of this. The ad primes us with decades of fantastic expectations — expectations which just about any review of the product you can find will tell you have not been met. It also implicitly, and very ironically, shows just how lacking in vision the product itself is. The iPhone ad says, "We're starting over." The Gear ad says, "We tried to make that exact thing you've seen on TV all these years."

Matthew Panzarino highlights that, unlike the 2007 iPhone spot, which showed what the iPhone was about to obsolete, the Galaxy Gear spot shows what Samsung didn't manage to accomplish. From TechCrunch:

In what is a moment of incredible irony, the clips that Samsung chose for its spot actually make the Gear look pretty terrible in comparison. The gadgets in those clips and movies did amazing, wonderful things like communicating across vast areas of space and analyzing the environment. Only a few of them were actually 'phones' — which is how Samsung pitches the Gear.

My take on the ad isn't anywhere nearly as smart or nuanced as Drance's or Panzer's. Mine is simply this: That commercial makes me want a product Samsung by all accounts isn't delivering, and that's a lousy thing to do to a customer.

Source: Apple Outsider, TechCrunch

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Samsung Galaxy Gear ad doesn't copy Apple in any way that matters

32 Comments

Is that because it isn't a copy of Apple anyway [since Apple sleazily took from Christian Marclay; creator of Telephones from 1995; his words, not mine]?

Have you seen "Telephones"? It's fundamentally different than the ad that each Apple and Samsung shot. Marclay created a compilation of snippets to give the impression that all parties involved were "all part of one big conversation." Apple used all parties simply to answer the phone and say, "Hello (which is the greeting Apple used way back with the Macintosh release - 1984)!" Samsung, for their part, didn't have much in common with either, but followed the nostalgic, evolutionary route exhibited by both previous offerings. When I saw the two (now three) videos back-to-back, I found that they were all different. I also think that you can't really put blame on anyone for this style of ad, because there is an evolution to virtually all products; so, when a company revolutionizes (in their own mind) a product, this ad style becomes relevant. It pains me to say it, but I don't find Samsung to be copying Apple on this one (but it is hilarious that they're doing perceptionally everything in their power to mimic everything made by Apple).

100% agree on every point and yes, I've watched Telephones.

Apple took the nostalgic look through time as Marclay did and Samsung. Clearly it is a case of "anything Samsung does that even comes close to Apple is deemed a copy" but in this case...the pundits are outright wrong.

I think we're on the same page, mostly, but as a side question: do you know who FIRST recorded a series of snippets (be it television or radio) and complied them to work together to serve a purpose (be it an ad, or just a cool conglomeration)?

Also, my point was not that Samsung is, or is not, copying Apple; my point was that you would think Samsung would be trying to do what it could to NOT have the perception of being an Apple copycat (regardless of whether or not they actually are).

Ironically, and you may find this comical, as I was researching this all earlier today, the ad which Google chose to play before Apple's "Hello" ad was the Galaxy Gear ad. I was rollin!

No, I'm not aware of the first.

Yeah, I agree 100% on them staying far away. I mean really...you know what will come next just be creative and do something else!

Lmbo @ Gear commercial. :-)

"(but it is hilarious that they're doing perceptionally everything in their power to mimic everything made by Apple)."

You do realize that Apple doesn't make a watch yet, right?

And Moto was the first back in 92 with their HelloMoto ads.

You do realize that the article and my comments are about the AD and not the WATCH, right?

Also, if you can't source your claim that the HelloMoto ad was the first nostalgia-related snippet compilation, it is irrelevant.

You did not pay attention, therefore you are disqualified from this conversation. You will no longer receive replies from me.

Technically Apple, Samsung and Motorola didn't "make" any of these ads, so you're rebuttal is void. When you make a comment about something a tech company makes, it's safe to assume you are applying it to things the company actually makes, not farms out.

And refusing to respond to people who point out your literary errors makes you look like a member of Congress.

No sir, I was requesting a link to the claim that Motorola had the first snippet compilation. The point is: I don't know who was first, but I highly doubt any of the three (now four) that we've talked about were the first to create a nostalgic snippet compilation (earliest we've talked about is now 1992.... in the entire history of audio/video advertisements).

I totally agree. I only posted it because I think that's how far of a stretch trying to link the old Apple and current Samsung ad are.

As an artist, we learn that nothing is new when you're creating something in a medium that's been around for awhile.

Sounds like they have taken a page right out of apples and marketing book, over hype a product that is quite average at best because the general public doesn't know the difference and won't bother to do a single second of research to find out if the claims are true or not.

The video also copies from the iPhone 4 lauch event, during the FaceTime demo, Steve Jobs calls up Jonny Ive and says " after all these years, it's real"

The original iPhone wasn't a particularly good "phone", so the adverts are more similar that you think ;)

Samsung copied an ad that had been copied many times before in many different forms of media. Who cares if Apple did it previously. That being said, I feel like Samsungs is more effective, too bad it is such a piss poor product, it had lots of potential. Hoping for better in later versions.

Agreed. Advertising firms closely follow each other. The ad is neat, and its too bad the Gear is just landfill.

I think people are kind of missing the point of the ad. Whether it's a phone, gadget device, command device the point is that it's worn on the person's wrist like a watch. I eliminates the step of reaching into your pocket. The power ranger watch could have been something they kept in their pocket. The Inspector Gadget watch could have been a mini table of some sort. But they weren't. They were "watches". Take a count of how many times you look at your wrist throughout the day. Whether you wear a watch or not, your wrist is in your view almost every moment of the day. The ad is perfect.

Samsung made a great ad. It made me want a real smart watch from Apple, Google or any other company that knows how to design products that work. This will be the watch that Apple and Google will use to show how great theirs are in comparison.