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Apple almost ditched ad firm in view of Samsung's Next Big Thing ads

updated 09:34 am EDT, Wed April 2, 2014

Samsung attorney claims Apple's Phil Schiller was 'obsessed'

During Monday's opening statements in the second Apple v. Samsung trial, attorney John Quinn -- representing Samsung -- revealed that Apple marketing head Phil Schiller was deeply concerned about Samsung's "Next Big Thing" ad campaign. One email from Schiller to his team specifically addressed a January 2013 Wall Street Journal story with the headline "Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung?" Schiller commented that "We have a lot of work to do to turn this around."

The article focuses a great deal on the Next Big Thing campaign, which specifically attacked the iPhone as missing features, and lampooned the cult-like atmosphere around Apple product launches in which people will line up for hours just to be one of the first to get a device. Quinn says that Samsung's new marketing strategy "drove Apple crazy," and that Schiller in particular became "obsessed" with the campaign. At one point he sent a message to Apple CEO Tim Cook, suggesting that the company looking into using another ad agency instead of TBWACHIATDAY. That firm has been closely linked to Apple's success, since it helped dictate the look of its minimalist TV ads and overall marketing.

The trial is scheduled to continue today. Apple is asking for $2 billion in damages, accusing Samsung of copying the iPhone and violating several of its patents.

by MacNN Staff



  1. azrich

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-19-10

    Weird, I always thought the Ads were and still are a little douche-y. Not only that, but if you have to say 'I'm the next big thing!!!' then... well.. shouldn't that be something everyone else says about you and not the other way around? Samsung has some pretty cool features that can be pushed on their own merits in ads. Their latest ad takes shots at everything from the iPad to the Surface and Kindle. The iPad twice actually. They could have easily pushed their features in a more mature way.

    I guess that is what I get for being over 40 and in a cult.

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    Apple's ads have usually just showed what their equipment can do while Samsung and Microsoft have always tried to belittle Apple products. If all you can say is what's wrong with something else, your product has no legs to stand on its own and might as well crawl into a hole. That's what I think about Samsung and Microsoft products; there's nothing there I would want to use.

    I'm 60 and I don't call believing in a company or product line being in a cult. I started managing a large Mac system in 1989 and wouldn't change much of anything I did with them.

  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    Apple's at least partly to blame for this image problem. In the 1990s, it had to target young adults because, apart from design creatives, almost everything else was using Windows. But while Apple is now more appealing to those over 25, with the exception of some recent iPad ads, its advertising continues to target 20-somes at play. Apple needs more adult-at-work focused ads and it needs to improve the work features of its products, including the utterly inadequate suggested words of its spell checker.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    The "Next Big Thing" gives me opposite response. You have a few guys showing cool stuffs from Samsung but yet there's this big line waiting for something that seems even bigger because of the line. It's like I am standing in line for StarWars 7 but yet this few dudes showing me how cool this "movie clips" from PlanetWars is. Like it's cool but who cares, I want my StarWars, the whole package and the real deal.

    By the way I thought the "Next Big Thing" is about Samsung watch, not the phone?

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    There's actually no evidence that what Quinn claims ever happened (in terms of wanting to ditch the ad firm). The email simply says that Apple had work to do to fight the (well-established) WSJ bias and the onslaught of Samsung ads. The "message" referred to in the story to Tim Cook hasn't actually been produced, and of course Quinn is speculating that Schiller was "obsessed," and that anyone other than him at Apple was at all bothered by the ads. Will be interesting to see if he has anything real to back that up.

  1. FastiBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-17-05

    I found the ads to be misleading at best, and at worst, childish, and spiteful. That bump thing, yea, it never caught on, and apple has a better solution anyways.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    I'm not a huge Apple fan (duh...), but it's a esthetics are second to none and I supose most here will agree the beauty of Apple's previous add campaign was that it felt like an extension of the great Industrial Design of it's products; simple, to the point, and so beautiful you want to watch the adds again.

    All of this whilst being obvious from the first few seconds this Is an Apple comercial.

    The new adds have lost that feel of being an extension of the finely tuned look of most everything Steve touched. The new adds are still very good, but not Great as the previous commercials were.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    The phone bumping thing just seems so odd from the beginning. It looks like a good idea but actually doing it is just feeling so unnatural and un-cultural. People still prefer "email me" or "text me".

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