Samsung takes bite out of Apple over its mega marketing misstep

'We would never crush creativity,' says South Korea megacorp

If Apple thought it could forget about last week's marketing disaster — which saw the tech giant roundly slated for appearing to crush human creativity in the name of computing progress — it was wrong.

Although Apple marketing veep Tor Myhren apologized for the ill-judged ad, smartphone and tablet rival Samsung couldn't resist the temptation to mock the iPhone maker with its own commercial.

Apple's original ad featured a metal crusher destroying musical instruments, sculptures, paints, and hi-fi equipment, only to boast product features of the new iPad.

As The Register pointed out previously, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs reimposed a marketing ethos promoting its values rather than "speeds and feeds" or "MIPS and megahertz" after he rejoined the company in 1997. The iPod and iMac pioneer now seems to have strayed from the marketing gospel according to its anointed late CEO.

The publicity error was compounded by a frenzy of critical mainstream media coverage accompanied by celebrities expressing their outrage at the ad. But Samsung was not ready to let it lie.

The South Korean consumer technology mega-corp posted a short video on Twitter — which now calls itself X — accompanied by the hashtag "UnCrush."

It shows a young woman walking into what appears to be the wreckage left behind by the Apple ad. Picking up a badly damaged guitar, with strings missing and holes in the body's soundboard, she nonetheless sits down to play, reading music from a Samsung tablet.

"We would never crush creativity," Samsung says in the social media post.

It might be a cheap shot, but it is one that is bound to sting for Apple.

Never mind that everything seemed to be destroyed in Apple's original ad, that the guitar is miraculously roughly in tune, or that the music on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Series is not the music she's playing. Apple has long been held up as an exemplar of marketing at its finest. It's a remarkable fall from grace.

Samsung's cheeky commercial might also add insult to injury. The US smartphone market registered another year-over-year decline in shipments in the first calendar quarter, down eight percent compared to Q1 2023. While the drop was partially due to supply chain issues pushing iPhone 14 shipments, Samsung saw a year-over-year boost in shipments thanks to its S24 lineup.

Poor Apple. But we supposed that there might be some consolation in the fact it is still worth something like $2.9 trillion. ®

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