Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

New Android TV spot mocks the iPhone's customer base

November 23, 2011: 6:49 AM ET

The ad wars heat up as Samsung attacks Apple with the most effective weapon: humor

Samsung has certainly stepped up its marketing game in advance of the 2011 holiday selling season.

Last week it was a TV ad for the new Galaxy Nexus -- due to arrive in the U.S. in December -- that had the look and feel of an iPhone spot. (See: What Google learned from Apple.)

This week it's an ad for the six-month-old Galaxy S II that takes aim at Apple's (AAPL) most devoted customer base: the people who line up to buy the latest iPhone.

Best lines: "I could never get a Samsung. I'm creative." "Dude, you're a barista."

Gentle mockery can be a devastatingly effective weapon. Just ask Microsoft (MSFT) how it liked the Get a Mac campaign that made fun of Windows PCs on prime time TV for nearly three and a half years.

One subtlety here is that mockery works best in advertising when you are coming from behind, as Avis was to Hertz and the Mac was to Windows. Although Android's share of the smartphone market now dwarfs the iPhone's, the message here is that Samsung -- and Google (GOOG) -- are still playing catch-up.

For the latest ads from Amazon, Apple and Verizon/Motorola, see here.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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