BlackBerry vs. Samsung: Which Super Bowl commercial won?

Chase Bonar
 from Winter Springs, FL
Published: February 5, 2013

If you were one of the 108 million couch potatoes this past Sunday night watching Super Bowl XLVII, you probably remember at least one of the following: a whole lot of Dorito's, an uninterrupted 34-minute blackout, and a ferocious halftime performance by Beyonce's thighs. Somewhere in the mix was a nail-biting football game, too. And between the cars and Clydesdales were a few commercials thrown in just for you, Dear Reader.

The black fruit company and Mr. Sung's empire were the only two players to show their faces in between shots of the Superdome. Apple and Microsoft did not advertise their operating systems which was clearly a missed opportunity. Overall, BlackBerry and Samsung's spots were valiant efforts to grab our attention. But if you expected to see some devices in action you were probably caught by surprise.  In fact, they were more demonstrations of how important marketing really is. Oh, and we also found out that some cameos and CGI can never hurt.

BlackBerry's - What BlackBerry 10 CAN'T Do

Watch the commercial here.

BlackBerry gave CBS their shiniest $3.8 million coin in exchange for a 30-second spot and I was surprised by their show. Why would BlackBerry and their marketing team play this one so close to the chest? They bet a whole lot on their new identity and assumed we remembered they made phones. And an operating system. If you ask me, I'd say it was probably a missed opportunity to show us some true differences between the Z10 and its competition.

BlackBerry took a few things for granted Sunday night. The first assumption was that we knew they were still around. Despite their recent 15% surge in market share value, BlackBerry assumed we remembered them. It might sound simple but it's not when you've been on sick-leave from the mobile market for years. As a company that has taken a beating from consumers and gadgeteers alike, BlackBerry should have thought more about what they needed to do instead of what BB10 can't do.

The second assumption was that we would understand the new and improved, edgy-feel of BlackBerry 10. There were a few glimpses of the guy flicking through BB10, but for the most part, it was hard to tell what the device was and why we should care about this particular handset. Did the commercial make sense? Yes and no, but more of the second. I think it will end up being fuel for the fire of the doubters. Of course you could argue that BlackBerry didn't have much momentum to begin with and that any publicity is good publicity. But let's face it, they're the undisputed underdog with little momentum in the first place. Why risk it?

After being out of the spotlight for the better part of three years, BlackBerry figured it made more sense to ignite an actor, give him elephant legs, disappear him, and let him explode a semi truck into a million rubber duckies. It was some cool CGI but the uninformed viewer still doesn't know what BB10 can do.

Samsung Mobile USA's - The Next Big Thing

Watch the commercial here.

Buried deep between Destiny's Child, a sneaky scorpion, and the classy, new CLA from Mercedes was Samsung's 2-minute pitch.

Samsung took a similar approach to BlackBerry. They relied on the fact that we already knew their products and that we were interested. But in this case, it clearly played to Samsung's favor. Odenkirk was spot-on as the sleazy businessman looking to score some fashionable TV-time with the likes of Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and LeBron James.

But a girl I know very well simply didn't like the commercial. "It wasn't funny." Sure, dear. Anyway, I watched it again and I found the problem; it was too long. I hope CBS gave Samsung a nice discount because if my calculations are correct, Samsung bet $15.2 million that we would understand their "commercial within a commercial" concept. It's the oldest trick in the book…and now the most expensive one, too. Was it worth it? Yes, because it was funny.

 

Paul Rudd: "Are you sure you aren't here to see a guy named Sam Sung?"

Seth Rogen: "I would wear a diaper for Samsung."

LeBron James: "I can do a cameo on a tablet or something."


It was all so ironic and outrageous that it was hard to resist. Did it make sense as a commercial for the Galaxy line though? I don't think so. We only saw the Galaxy Note II and a glimpse of the Galaxy Note 10.1. I would have liked to see more. Then again, I'm talking about the commercial favorably so maybe it worked.

But what say you, mon? I want to know which commercial you liked! Was there a clear winner between BlackBerry and Samsung? Do you think BlackBerry is off to a good start with their first official commercial in The States? Let me know what you think in the comments below!