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Samsung has been known to borrow Apple's ideas from time to time, an effective — if not entirely inspired — strategy considering massive iPhone, iPad and now Watch demand. But its latest advertisement for the new Galaxy S6 edge, basically an amalgamation of Apple Watch promo videos, dials the homage up to 11.
When Apple CEO Tim Cook detailed Apple Watch at a special event in March, his presentation came with the usual assortment of impeccably produced videos showing off device design, features and, notably, an in-depth look at materials processing.
From aluminum to steel to a proprietary gold recipe, Apple went into fine detail on the material makeup of each Watch model. Doing so was important, perhaps necessary, as each of three tiers — Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition — is defined by build materials, not functionality.
It appears Samsung was quite smitten with Apple's efforts, as the latest Galaxy commercial apes Apple's visual style, staging — complete with swelling music bed — and videography, going so far as to reproduce dramatic sequences like molten metal pouring out of a crucible, seen above. A narrator recites almost poetic copy in a syrupy British accent, punctuating short stanzas with tantalizing ad speak, waxing poetic on Samsung's pursuit for innovation. Bold.
For its part, Samsung's ad does spotlight a few distinctive Galaxy S6 edge features, like a curved AMOLED display, but the overall effect is arguably lost on those who experienced Apple's version weeks ago.
For reference, Apple's video highlighting the Apple Watch Edition build process is below.
There's nothing technically wrong with Samsung's ad, but for a number of reasons it feels half-hearted, derivative and empty. Comparing the spot with Apple's promos, it's obvious the Korean company is not as practiced at throwing a spotlight on manufacturing processes. But there's something else missing.
When Apple began to produce design promos, usually starring SVP of Design Jony Ive, it built on years of exquisitely crafted devices. That every Apple product was an engineering marvel was an idea hammered home by Steve Jobs, Ive and more recently Tim Cook, with each successive launch.
After years of careful design curation, innovation and paring down the unnecessary, Apple was in a position to elevate manufacturing itself into a product ripe for advertisement. The company was able to transform the banal — a CNC machine whittling down slabs of aluminum — into art. Samsung, perhaps, has not yet earned that right.