Former Apple ad man Ken Segall says Apple’s advertising has lost momentum to Samsung

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In the video above, Bloomberg West speaks with 72andSunny’s partner and creative director Jason Norcross about the thinking behind some of Samsung’s latest campaigns. 

If there is one person qualified to discuss the state of Apple’s current marketing efforts, it’s Ken Segall. Working alongside Steve Jobs’ creative team for more than a decade, Segall, the man who put the “i” in iMac, served as creative director at ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day. He created some of Apple’s most iconic ads such as the legendary Think Different campaign. Segall took some time on his Observatory blog today to share his thoughts on how “momentum has been lost” for Apple’s marketing department at the hands of none other than the company’s biggest rival, Samsung:

While you can still argue that Macs and i-devices have a ton of appeal, you can’t argue that Apple is still untouchable when it comes to advertising…The fact is, it is being touched — often and effectively — by none other than Samsung…Samsung has made remarkable inroads in a very short time, for two big reasons.

According to Segall, the two big reasons Samsung’s advertising has eclipsed Apple’s is due to Sammy’s massive advertising budget and willingness to “bash away at Apple, delivering ads that are well produced, well written and seem to be striking a nerve.” Specifically, Segall pointed to Samsung’s decision to run creative new ads at the Super Bowl and Oscars: 

In contrast to Apple, which has been sticking to its product-based ads, Samsung has been scoring points with its people-based ads — most of which play off some growing negative perceptions about Apple… Samsung invested in a two-minute Super Bowl ad; Apple chose to remain silent. Samsung created a new story for the Oscars, tapping the eccentric Tim Burton; Apple ran only a variation of its more traditional product-centric campaign.

Segall also noted that the last time Apple attempted something new with its campaigns was with the controversial Olympics ads that were later taken down by the company:

The last time Apple tried to stir things up was when it unveiled a brand-new campaign during the summer Olympics. And you know how that turned out.

Have Apple’s recent ads lost their significance? Its latest ad, below, was aired at the Oscars and doesn’t stray too far from what we’ve seen in recent months. However, as noted by Segall, Samsung appeared to receive the majority of the attention for its new Oscars ad featuring director Tim Burton. 72andSunny’s partner and creative director Jason Norcross, part of the team behind Samsung’s latest ads, commented on the strategy to Bloomberg:

“One of the big competitors was really owning the mobile market. Samsung wanted to make a big splash. We tried to take advantage of all the momentum around their competitors. It is a choice of a new generation. Samsung is the flag bearer of android nation. They have quite a bit of innovation. Going back a year-and-a-half ago we just wanted to position Samsung as the leading technology in the category and just used that line of “people lined up.” The next big thing is already here. You do not have to wait for its. That was the genesis of the whole next big thing is here. We have just built on that from there.”… “I think the results are shown the growth of the Marketshare. Those results speak for themselves. Cool is never something we go for. We just try to show the benefit and to really respond in an honest way.”

(via Fortune)

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.