Samsung: Technologically in the 21st Century, Socially in the 19th

This is the preview ad for Samsung’s coming big unveiling of the Galaxy S IV. It features three happy, rich, white males, and one totally silent servant black guy who is summoned by a finger snap. It’s 30 seconds in.


Now, I like a lot of what Samsung is doing in the gadget space. But this makes me cringe. Perhaps some of Samsung’s huge marketing expenditures should be diverted to getting a clue.

12 thoughts on “Samsung: Technologically in the 21st Century, Socially in the 19th”

  1. I’ve seen Samsung’s ads for years. I would never credit them with an abundance of creativity or quality, nor their products. Other than the subservient black man, what’s the one, single takeaway message of this ad? That Samsung is releasing a new product? Wow. Color me underwhelmed at that rare occasion when a new(er) tech product comes along, indistinguishable from the one it replaced six long weeks ago. Do they really expect us to perch on the edge of our seats waiting with bated breath for the next installment in this commercial series?
    Gimme a break, Samsung. You produce mediocre copycat products in a fiercely competitive tech market with a long history of vaporware, and you expect us to break down doors when you tease a version upgrade?


  2. All this means to me is that I can get a GSIII for much cheaper starting very soon (and thereby keep my unlimited data plan).


  3. The only reason Samsung products sell is because they are cheaper and they are pushed at the carrier stores. ATT desperately wants a bargaining chip against Apple and hopes Samsung will be it.


  4. Whoops.
    There does not seem to be anything inherently racist about the concept of the commercial (maybe you could argue there is some inherent classism, although it’s hard for me to tell because — as TGAPDad said — the takeaway from the commercial is a little unclear, i.e. it’s not actually that good a commercial). They just utterly blew it with the casting. Regardless of whether there were indeed some subconciously racist attitudes behind it, or if it was just a bad coincidence, either way somebody really screwed the pooch here. heh…


  5. I normally have no patience for ads (adblock, channel flipping, etc.). But in light of this discussion, here’s a Samsung ad featuring “overly attached girlfriend”.

    Who says all Samsung ads suck?


  6. Wow. Color me underwhelmed at that rare occasion when a new(er) tech product comes along, indistinguishable from the one it replaced six long weeks ago.

    Having worked for years for a major phone carrier, this seems to describe the entire mobile/tablet market, rather than just Samsung’s business model (which is, of course, based on exactly that).


  7. Piling on.
    Also note that when the kids signs the contract, the other guy says, “Right below where your Mom already signed.” Now maybe she knew what she was committing her son to, but the tone I heard in the actor’s delivery dripped with an implied, “Getting your Mom to sign was just a formality. Your signature is the important one. Chicks, amirite?”


  8. Marketing to racist rich white men or those who inspire to be them ..
    A demographic mistake Samsung shares with the Republicans.
    Of course teh consequences -selling less junk as opposed to losing power and influence politically are different. Stupid & avoidable error in both cases mind.


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