Samsung and the Lionel Messi factor don’t work for me

Vula Vala

I find nothing creatively special in the second television campaign launched recently for the Samsung supreme duo, the GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear. And I’m a Samsung fan.

Put into the mix, the best footballing supremo Lionel Messi as an anchor backed by the hottest thing in the pop world Lorde, the creative team could have done better. At least I expect better from the number one smart phone maker in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, there are special elements, call them consequences, in this campaign but they are all predictable and tired. It is clear the 26 years old Messi, who according to Forbes earns an annual salary of $20m and more than that from endorsements, will be laughing all the way to the bank. His tally of goals suggest that he might just become the greatest thing football has ever seen. Messy is a sensational story but in my opinion the Messi factor in such an advertising campaign is tired low lying fruit. And I say this after reading what I consider to be an over-the-top caption attached to the Samsung clip on droid-life.com: “Best soccer player in the world. Check. Hottest single on the planet at the moment. Check. Using homeless children to license said hit single to promote new Kidz Bop Volume 25. Check. Soccer field in the ghetto. Check. Galaxy Note 3. Wait, what?”

All the “Checks” should be replaced with “Tired” in my view. I think I get what the creative were trying to exploit. Here you have a cocktail of fast selling themes: Celebrity doing good for the world. The Bono type theme. It is exhausted I think.

But then this could be my problem. I have just crossed the Big 40 and dragging a left leaning political view that has boxed me inside a largely failed, in popularity and commercial terms, creative school of thought. I say this having read a provocative view posted by a local (South African) advertising executive, Grant Shippey, CEO of Amorphous. Shippey was recently quoted characterising the creative taste like mine as inefficient for business, well kind off. What Shippey was really saying is that in rewarding creativity, the advertising industry must guard against festering “inefficiency”. He observed that awards are generally considered a “crucial barometer” for the success for an advertising agency. But they can render agencies “grossly inefficient”, said Shippey.

He observed that awards tend to be given for one of two reasons. “Firstly, awards are given for originality and cleverness, which is determined by a group of peers who are deemed to have sufficient experience to make such an assessment. Yet the views of these judges do not mirror the views of the markets serviced by the advertisements.”

Applying Shippey’s view on my take you will have to measure the efficiency of the Samsung campaign for the company’s bottom line. I have no doubt that attaching mercy to brand will sell. I insist the angle is creatively tired.

In truth I would not have bothered to speak about this if it was not the press release punting the Samsung campaign. Actually it could be that reading the press release drove me to the view Im holding. Im failing to see the story line punted in the press release on the advert. I don’t see the connection with the “Design Your Life” title.

The Samsung press release blurted that the “Design Your Life” integrated campaign follows unique individuals as they bring their passions to life using GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear. I see nothing unique in this.

The press release continues: “The ad, entitled Messi’s Note (“The Developer,”) combines classic storytelling, modern technology and striking audio and visuals to create a cinematic experience that illustrates Lionel Messi’s passion for the sport of soccer and the possibilities that are opened by an entirely new mobile experience”. Perhaps there is some Cinematic experience.

And here follows the rest of the release: Featuring chart-topper “Royals” from New Zealand pop star Lorde, as sung by a chorus of children, “The Developer” follows a mysterious character who enters an unnamed and desolate town with unclear motivations. As he moves through the grim and empty streets, the youth of the city become intrigued and begin to follow him. As the man winds through the twisted back alleys of the city, he uses his GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear to spearhead a secret project. He issues verbal orders into the GALAXY Gear upon his wrist, purchases an abandoned plot of land, authorises an army of heavy equipment to begin building and watches abandoned buildings being demolished on the GALAXY Note 3 in his palm. The children eagerly watching the man begin to signal to their friends that something amazing is happening. As youths begin to emerge from their homes, they sprint to the construction site and arrive at a stunning new field. Standing on the field is Lionel Messi, the mysterious character, inviting them to a game of soccer.

“Lionel Messi was the perfect fit for this campaign because of his strong ties to Samsung and the inspiring work which has been done through the Messi Foundation, which strives to give all children the same opportunities for making their dreams come true,” said Michelle Potgieter, Director, Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics SA. “The pursuit of passion is woven into the fabric of the Samsung GALAXY brand, whether this is achieved through art, sport or philanthropy, we want to create possibilities for consumers to build a better tomorrow. The GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear are the catalysts to allow consumers to pursue their passions, reach higher and dream bigger than ever before, creating a world where possibilities become realities, and every day is better than the last.”

Available in Jet Black, Classic White and Blush Pink, the Samsung GALAXY Note 3 delivers a larger, more vivid screen for the best viewing experience and more powerful multitasking, and introduces significant S Pen improvements that make everyday life easier and faster. When paired with the GALAXY Gear, the GALAXY Note 3 offers an entirely new and seamless mobile experience, letting users operate the device hands free. Consumers can personalise their GALAXY Gear by choosing from six colors available at launch: Jet Black, Mocha Gray, Wild Orange, Oatmeal Beige, Rose Gold and Lime Green. Both GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear are currently available in more than 140 countries around the world”.

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