Companies mock other companies for all sorts of reasons.
Sometimes, it’s because they feel small. Sometimes, it’s because they think if they mock well they’ll get lots of PR.
You’ll be relieved that Samsung has different motivations when it mocks, say, Apple.
In an interview with Adweek to celebrate the company being named advertiser of the year at the Cannes Ad Festival, Samsung’s top global marketing executive Younghee Lee explained that the company has far higher motivations.
Asked about how Samsung has fought Apple, she said: “We always relentlessly pursue what we think is right in technology. Our communications program is no different. If we think it is right, we pursue it relentlessly.”
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jaundiced minds might ask: “Ah, so when you copy Apple you do it because it’s the right thing to do?”
I wouldn’t stoop to such besmirchment.
The former quite brilliantly poked and poked again at the rampant fanboyism of many who buy Apple products. The latter teased mercilessly those iPhone users who constantly have to recharge their phones.
I am, though, moved by Lee’s certainty and her claims to an almost moral rectitude. Indeed, she talked about the Samsung brand as if it was something worth worshiping.
“The virtues of our brand are engineering, openness, freedom in mindset, purposeful innovation, multiculturalism, vibrancy, being inviting and inclusiveness,” she said.
She might almost have been talking about the United States. Is she really trying to build a United States of Samsung? That’s what global companies do.
She acknowledged, however, that her biggest challenge is to keep millennials interested.
“It’s crucial for us to keep our Samsung Galaxy brand as a young and fresh mindset,” she said.
Staying young is hard. Ask some at Apple Music who wish the company was called Beats Music.
But both Apple and Samsung have bigger issues than staying youthful.
As phones become utilitarian, the focus turns on what you can do with them, rather than how lovely they look. Even though Samsung has made enormous strides in phone design — the Galaxy S7 Edge is quite lovely — it’s still lumbered with Android and all that sails in it.
Perhaps being young and gorgeous just isn’t what it used to be.