Samsung Galaxy Note Super Bowl Ad: Hot or Not?


A few weeks back, we told you guys about how Samsung was attempting to gain an “Apple like” following with their products and yesterday’s Super Bowl ad was the climax of that, giving us a magnificently showy conclusion to the “The Next Big Thing” ad campaign.

The video showcased Apple fanboys/girls who — after taking a look at Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note — finally had enough of their prison that was the iPhone X line, waiting around for the next best thing when it was already here. These brand new Samsung converts skipped and danced their way out of Apple’s line/jail and into the bright wonderful streets of Samsung’s smartphone lineup with, none other than The Darkness, providing vocals for what even “the barrista” called an over the top ad spot.

While I don’t have any issue with the ad (it was the Super Bowl after all) and even though I did feel like it was bordering on the edge of “cheesy,” I can’t lie, I did crack a smile, especially when I saw Phandroid’s Kevin Krause look-alike being shot from a 2-story canon. But here’s my problem (if you can even call it that).

Aside from our Android readers who have most likely seen their entire ad campaign thanks to Phandroid’s razor sharp reporting, many people watching the ad had absolutely no context on which to base the commercial upon. For many of them, this was the very first Samsung ad they’ve seen in their living rooms. And while I’m sure most got the basic picture of “iPhone isn’t that great, Galaxy Note has a stylus,” things were still a little unclear for people. I was actually asked if it was a T-Mobile ad thanks to Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins wearing magenta stripped tights.

Now, I’m nothing more than a lonely blogger, but I think if Samsung wants to gain a strong “Apple-like” following, they’re going to need to do a few things first:

  1. Start offering fewer, high-end devices: This could be a new Galaxy device that launches every year with top of the line specs and leave it at that. No, Galaxy S II, GSII Skyrocket, GSII Skyrocket HD. It muddies up the line and confuses consumers.
  2. Support current devices: Now this is easier said than done when Samsung makes everything from low-end budget, to high-end devices. But it needs to become more of a priority. Make your current customers proud they own a Samsung smartphone and they’re sure to tell their friends. Updated software should never be used as a marketing gimmick to force users to upgrade, especially if current gen hardware could realistically support it.
  3. Make the US a priority: The GSII launched in Korea first — I get that. But we, in the US, waited for almost a year before we were able to get the device through our carrier. Now, I’m not saying we should get a device first (from what I hear, there are other countries in world besides the US) but if possible, global releases should be as close to each other as possible, providing Samsung factories can support the demand.
  4. Sell better: Make ads that show off features and functions people will use. Your phone is 5-inches and comes with a stylus. Show off hypothetical situation that could arise from having this functionality in a phone.

I understand that a lot of these suggestions rely largely on carrier cooperation and not I’m saying saying Samsung is at all to blame for this. Also, I don’t want this to be seen as a Samsung bashing post — I recently switched to the Galaxy S II on Sprint and without a doubt, it’s the best device I’ve ever own in smartphone life — I just wanted to create some dialog with our readers and give my humble point of view in the process.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the Samsung’s Galaxy S II ad during the Super Bowl? Hit or miss? More importantly, what do you think Samsung needs to do from here on out if they really want this coveted religious following?

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I enjoyed it. And what they need to do is make consistently good phones. Oh and probably spend a few million on ads like this, that’s the way to reach the masses who don’t do their own work to educate themselves.

  2. You’re missing a big point on points 2 and 3: blame the carriers.

    1. I agree. If each carrier didn’t require a different version then the phones would launch a lot sooner in the US I’m sure.

      Ad was great, it had Miranda Kerr in it ;)

    2. Yeah, mentioned that: “I understand that a lot of these suggestions rely largely on carrier cooperation and not I’m saying saying Samsung is at all to blame for this” :)

      1. saw that, but imo samsung is not even partially to blame, so those points shouldnt exist. for point 2, samsung international phones have been getting timely software updates; US carriers are crapping up their updates. for point 3, i guarantee that samsung would love for the us carriers to sell their phones asap. if it weren’t for all the other moto and htc phones releasing, samsung releases would be a lot faster

        1. I’m sure there are things Samsung could do to help things along. I highly doubt they have absolutely no say what-so-ever when it comes to updates or US launch timing. 

          If HTC/Motorola can do it, why not them? And if it’s a money issue, maybe they could have spent that $10 million for the Super Bowl ad to convince Verizon/T-Mobile/AT&T to give them higher priority when the GSIII launches? Especially now that they’re a “proven brand.”

          1. i was arguing your 2 points to allow for samsung having an apple-like following. wasnt talkin bout ads

          2.  So just pull an Apple and retain control of updates. Don’t allow carrier input and just make a few international models, no multiple versions of the same device.

  3. At least there was no “DROOOIDDD” sound clip.

  4. Biggest problem with the ad was the people I’ve talked to about it, had no idea it was a phone, they thought it was a tablet. 

    1. So true.

      A better ad should’ve also shown:
      1) The Note being used as a phone held up to the ear (by a big lumberjack guy, so it doesn’t look AS large)
      2) The Note being used as a phone by a petite woman via bluetooth or headset, WHILE she was also using it as a tablet.

      When I get my GNote, I’ll be playing the part of the 6′ lumberjack with big hands once a while, but mostly just soaking up the screen as a tablet.

  5. I was with my in-laws when the ad aired. They either thought that the stylus was required for use and were confused as to why it was “innovative” and the other half did not realize that the pen is stored in the phone so their refrain was “Great, something else to lose”. All in all, the wrong messages were sent and only the younger crowd probably enjoyed it. 

    Nice ad, not very informative. Lots of questions. 

    1. lol I was on the phone with a friend when it aired.  His mom ask him how she was supposed to keep up with the pen.  I think it confused a lot of people also.

  6. I think it served it’s purpose. Samsung is going for the cool yet fun image with this new campaign. Once it’s trimmed down, I think it will show the device off with a few less distractions. They did highlight a few key features. Now where’s that Sprint Galaxy Nexus commercial?!

  7. I think it was stupid how they made fun of the Apple product by claiming that it’s not available yet, because the Galaxy Note hasn’t even been released yet.

    1. Technically it has been released, just not the AT&T branded version.

  8. Not

  9. It did what all superbowl commercials are suppose to do. Be off the wall crazy, fun, and attention grabbing. They may not have really dove into the phone much, but I bet that garnered more attention for the device than simply showing what it can do.

  10. Not…  I told people about the big 90 second ad of the phone I want. The ad embarrassed me and I don’t easily embarrass! lol

  11. Meh, not. Samsung destroyed any possibility of gaining me as a customer long ago…if they were the last android brand I would buy Apple.

    1. The Galaxy Nexus spits at you : )

    2. Starting off a sentence with “meh” gives you no credibility.

  12. I enjoyed the ad, and I am no spring chicken.  Those who do not understand the product should stick with the iPhone.  Perfect for the none tech savvy (iPhone)

  13. It was a great conclusion of “The Next Big Thing”, and the timing couldn’t have been better with the Superbowl. And in the same state of mind that your article was, I sure don’t want to seen to harsh, but really even if you did talk a bit about carriers responsabilities, it didnt show, because points 1,2,3 are totally out of Samsung hands and all directly depends on the carriers. And as for point 4 when you pay a 1:30 min. ads 10 500 000$ + the production cost and all that is related (giving away about everything you saw in the ad.) and do a big follow up with social medias, Twiitter, Facebook etc. it is not to describe a device, but to make sure it’s gonna be the subject of discussion on as many as possible platforms all around. Others small ads will be release either by Samsung or the carriers of any specifics devices. So their purpose of getting it as trendy  as possible was perfectly reach.

  14. me no like it.
    Seriously though, even as an android fanatic, i think this sucked.
    Samsung should’ve focused more on its strength: the screen.

  15. Frigin Giants cost me $125 by going for that 2 point conversion for no reason instead of just kicking the extra point

    1. “They” didn’t cost you anything, you blame-shifting degenerate gambler! >:)

    2. No reason?  It forced the Pats to go for a touchdown instead of trying for the tie with a field goal.

  16. They blew it.   They communicated that there is a Samsung “thing” tablet or phone not sure which; that you can write on with a stylus.  They didnt even demonstrate the pen doing anything useful.  Look; I can draw a circle on the screen.  So what!   They could have done a MUCH better job communicating why america should buy this 6 month old phone for $300.

    1. Does a company really need to show you what a pen can do?  A device we’ve grown up using throughout the years.   Really?   If you’re that into being told what you can/can’t do with a device, use Apple.

      1. Yes they do.  Because people are used to what a capacitive pen can do on the ipad and any other tablet; which is write big like a child’s crayon.   This commercial blew an opportunity to demo how this pen is different; or any other benefit of the note for that matter.

  17. I’ve been watching all of the ads on youtube and I couldn’t even finish this one, it was that bad! My vote is NOT!

  18. I thought the ad was hilarious, don’t see why people are thinking so much into it.

  19. i dont think its a bad ad,but its not great either. and i think one of the reason why people have so much of an attachment to the iphone, is that there is only one a year,and we dont have to wait for the entire rest of the world to get it before we do.

    with android its hard to get attached to a brand,when theres a new,better phone coming out from a different manufacturer,or maybe even the same manufacturer a month later.

    also,lets face it,apple has been flat out better at marketing its products than its android counterparts. remember when the first commercials came out for the xoom? they were terrible! they barely even described the product! apple makes people want their products,makes their products look special,and it goes a long way.

    slow down the rate of phone releases,increase phone quality,release them in the US sooner,and for the love of god,spend more money on advertising.if you really think your phone is better than the iphone,then tell the public why! most of them dont spend there time on sites like this and they dont know the differences the way that we do.

    and even though you did just say alot of that,i am completely in agreement!!!!

  20. was just not what i expected
    was so funny

  21. I personally can’t wait for the note to launch but I thought the ad was kind of corny. It seemed over the top to me. I’m pretty much a Samsung fan but I’m rooting for htc to hold to their word on less devices with more attention paid to them. I wish Samsung would go the same route honestly. Just watched a YouTube video unboxing of the skyrocket HD. How many versions of a great device does it take to ruin it? I remember when I got my international sgs2 when it released thinking that it was so great and then the American launch came with 3 different versions of it and then the skyrocket came and now the HD.
    They may need to start thinking like htc is. And while we’re at it Motorola needs to listen to htc as well on a few things. The 1 great thing about Samsung is that they are very developer friendly which is great.

  22. More entertaining than the halftime show.

  23. Was sort of funny

  24. That was a Galaxy Note ad, not GSII. I loved it. I thought they made a great party in the streets. It made them seem more “cool.”

  25. Not. The only thing they really hyped about the Note was that it “has a pen! woah awesome!”. That… really shows a basic non-understanding of what their customers want. Just make commercials that show what your product can do instead of showing tons of stupid flash & bang.

  26. Samsung played it nice imo, they didnt focus on single product for whole 1.31 minutes which is smart. they showcased whole range of galaxy tab products including galaxy note (keep in mind at&t only now). now the point is all those million people watching it are not at&t customers. so this is smart, ur actually getting the ad that works for all customer not specific ones. exclusive ad for at&t in superbowl would have been big mistake and waste of $$$

  27. It was poor.

    Why (assuming that you are looking to convince people not to buy an iPhone), would you mock your potential customers.

    If this was a iphone commercial showing Android users as geeks with giant phones you would all be up in arms.

    Make a commercial showing how the note does things better.

  28. I didn’t like it from “sell me a phone” point of view but I think I think it did a good job of making us feel like Samsung is a product you should buy into.  The same angle as Apple and their stuff but a lot more fun.

    Samsung will never be dethroned as the king of Androids, that’s for damn sure.

  29. Samsung & all the other Android manufactures need to hire the iphone advertising team, apple show you how the phone is good to use & some of the apps, Android adverts dont show this aswell .

  30. No its not your country dear Americas, its your Carriers!

  31. Not so hot the new mystery device was not new at all, was disappointed when I saw the note it’s a good device, but it’s not a new announcement as Samsung claimed it would be, and 12mio for this ad is way too much. I guess that explains the prulice tag.

  32. Stupid Stupid Stupid commercial.

    All production value and no ideas. They led up with some VERY witty commercials the past 2-3 ads, and then instead of waiting for those “Apple” users to get into the store and be let down or using that effectively they turned it into a Darkness Music Video that was lame…walking along singing in a Google + Group to one another then meeting up? 
    Doesn’t highlight that much special about the phones or its advantages over the iPhone. Wasted advertisement during the BEST time to do it…when the major 2 ad demographics were in full flux watching.

  33. Want to really blow peoples’ socks off?

    -Stop offering so MANY devices. Have a High, Mid-range and low end device. On every carrier. And make them equal between carriers. None of this, Oh you’ll have NFC on this carrier! This dock won’t work on the GSM version though only CDMA!

    -Release a new “set” every year. 

    -Guarantee OS support and updates for 2 years, that can be a max, that’s fine. Longer if you can do it!

    -Agree with Point 4…there was nothing clear about the ad and WHY it’s fun to own an Android device, let alone a Samsung branded one. You need clever and cool ways to show how the Android phone makes your life easier, better and more fun. It could be cheaper apps on the Market, or better quality of apps, (quality over quantity). Google integration is huge, an ACTUAL Facebook app, (iOS users HATE this!), true multitasking.

    -I really think Google needs to up their videocalling to compete. Doing it through Google+, not really that cool. Make it it’s own Google App etc and make it simple to use, tagged to phone numbers or Gmail IDs.

    So much more but these are the first big things I think of.

    1. Yeah that fiasco with every carrier having thier own version of the GSII (and Verizon having none) was ridiculous.  No reason there should’ve been 5 different versions of the same phone on 3 (read: THREE) carriers in the U.S. (this includes the Skyrockets). Every carrier should’ve had either the Skyrocket model or the version Sprint has (with the LED notification).  The other versions were crap to me IMO.

      The ad was kinda corny to me.  I don’t care for all that singing and dancing over a phone.  Be funny but be informative.  Sometimes less is more.

  34. The ad sucked.  Made Android/Samsung users look like a bunch of dorks.  There are many “cool” ppl who use iPhones too, and none of them care about or know who The Darkness is (I only knew of them by name).  How about convincing them how and why the Samsung product is cooler than the iPhone instead of singing and dancing around like an episode of Glee on steroids.

  35. @carlrood… They were ahead by 4 then went for a 2 point conversion, they already needed a td instead of only a field goal. They screwed me.. Jerks > =0

  36. I wanted one.  I’m glad they’re pushing their products like Verizon did with the Droid line, but they’re giving more name recognition to the Galaxy S line. 

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