Samsung lands in list of five worst Super Bowl ads


A woman stands behind a Samsung logo at Samsung Electronics Co. showroom inside its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 (Ahn Young-joon/AP)
February 4, 2013

Samsung’s “Next Big Thing” ad may have tapped the star power of three celebrities, but at least one firm’s analysis shows it didn’t gain much traction with consumers.

The two-minute ad featuring Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and LeBron James confused customers and failed to hold their attention, according to data from the research firm Frank N. Magid Associates.

In an wonky teaser, Samsung referred to its long-running patent battle with Apple, by showing Rogen and Rudd fumbling with words to avoid trademarked phrases such as “Super Bowl,” “San Francisco 49ers,” and “Baltimore Ravens,” leading them to ultimately call the game “El Plato Supremo.”

Magid surveyed nearly 400 consumers across the country in real time over mobile devices, to get immediate reactions. On both Magid’s data and on the NFL’s page asking fans to rank their favorite ads, the leading choice was Budweiser’s ad featuring a Clydesdale horse and his trainer.

BlackBerry also released a spot that had been topping the NFL’s fan-ranking page but has been removed from voting. The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment on that removal.

The ad, created by AMV BBDO, touted the features of the company’s new touchscreen Z10 by not actually showing any of them. BlackBerry’s chief marketing officer, Frank Boulben, said that it wasn’t “feasible” to show off all the phone’s features in a single spot, so the company opted for a different approach.

“We decided to use the lighthearted spirit of Super Bowl ads to showcase what BlackBerry 10 can’t do,” he said in a statement. The spot showed a man using the phone to teleport into a sewer and or turn a runaway semi-trailer into rubber ducks.

Meanwhile, the conversation on Twitter allowed others to act fast and launch quick ads that took advantage of the sudden Superdome blackout after halftime.

Oreo earned a lot of praise for a quick-thinking Twitter ad telling users they can still “dunk in the dark.” Buzzfeed’s Rachel Sanders reported that the agency behind the ad, 360i, was able to get the commercial out so quickly because it watched the game with the brand team from Oreo. The cookie executives gave immediate approval, and the ad has been retweeted over 14,000 times.

In fact, according to a count from Marketingland’s Matt McGee, Twitter may have been the really big winner from the game. He said he noted references to Twitter in half — 26 — of the national television ads that aired during the game, compared to just four for Facebook, none for Google+ and one for Instagram.

Related stories:

Bloomberg: Samsung no longer top mobile-phone maker in U.S.

Ten things to know about BlackBerry

Samsung sets sights on corporate customers

Sign up today to receive #thecircuit, a daily roundup of the latest tech policy news from Washington and how it is shaping business, entertainment and science.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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A woman stands behind a Samsung logo at Samsung Electronics Co. showroom inside its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 (Ahn Young-joon/AP)
February 4, 2013

Samsung’s “Next Big Thing” ad may have tapped the star power of three celebrities, but at least one firm’s analysis shows it didn’t gain much traction with consumers.

The two-minute ad featuring Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd and LeBron James confused customers and failed to hold their attention, according to data from the research firm Frank N. Magid Associates.

In an wonky teaser, Samsung referred to its long-running patent battle with Apple, by showing Rogen and Rudd fumbling with words to avoid trademarked phrases such as “Super Bowl,” “San Francisco 49ers,” and “Baltimore Ravens,” leading them to ultimately call the game “El Plato Supremo.”

Magid surveyed nearly 400 consumers across the country in real time over mobile devices, to get immediate reactions. On both Magid’s data and on the NFL’s page asking fans to rank their favorite ads, the leading choice was Budweiser’s ad featuring a Clydesdale horse and his trainer.

BlackBerry also released a spot that had been topping the NFL’s fan-ranking page but has been removed from voting. The NFL did not immediately respond to a request for comment on that removal.

The ad, created by AMV BBDO, touted the features of the company’s new touchscreen Z10 by not actually showing any of them. BlackBerry’s chief marketing officer, Frank Boulben, said that it wasn’t “feasible” to show off all the phone’s features in a single spot, so the company opted for a different approach.

“We decided to use the lighthearted spirit of Super Bowl ads to showcase what BlackBerry 10 can’t do,” he said in a statement. The spot showed a man using the phone to teleport into a sewer and or turn a runaway semi-trailer into rubber ducks.

Meanwhile, the conversation on Twitter allowed others to act fast and launch quick ads that took advantage of the sudden Superdome blackout after halftime.

Oreo earned a lot of praise for a quick-thinking Twitter ad telling users they can still “dunk in the dark.” Buzzfeed’s Rachel Sanders reported that the agency behind the ad, 360i, was able to get the commercial out so quickly because it watched the game with the brand team from Oreo. The cookie executives gave immediate approval, and the ad has been retweeted over 14,000 times.

In fact, according to a count from Marketingland’s Matt McGee, Twitter may have been the really big winner from the game. He said he noted references to Twitter in half — 26 — of the national television ads that aired during the game, compared to just four for Facebook, none for Google+ and one for Instagram.

Related stories:

Bloomberg: Samsung no longer top mobile-phone maker in U.S.

Ten things to know about BlackBerry

Samsung sets sights on corporate customers

Sign up today to receive #thecircuit, a daily roundup of the latest tech policy news from Washington and how it is shaping business, entertainment and science.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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