FORTUNE -- At $1.6 to $1.8 million per 30-sec. spot, the Academy Awards are second only to the Superbowl as a high-value stage for advertisers to strut their stuff before a massive TV audience.
The Oscars were a different story. The two companies went head-to-head Sunday night with Hollywood-themed commercials that highlighted their contrasting approach to the medium this season.
Samsung once again went for story-telling and star-power with a series of interconnected spots that dropped Lebron James' name (again) and delivered director Tim (Frankenweenie) Burton but soft-pedaled Samsung's Galaxy line.
There was nothing soft about Apple's focus on its product line. Although the iPad commercial it debuted Sunday night showed the versatility of the format the company introduced last week, it's not likely to go viral any time soon.
LeBron James joins Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and Bob ("Breaking Bad") Odenkirk
FORTUNE -- Samsung's official Superbowl ad -- scheduled to air in the game's fourth quarter -- appeared on YouTube overnight. There are no swipes at Apple (AAPL) this time, but like the controversial teaser, the product pitch is so soft-pedaled you can hardly hear it.
The Verge estimates that the 120-second spot cost Samsung more than $15 million in air time alone.
According MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 3, 2013 10:33 AM ET
By Friday the spot had gone viral on YouTube with 1.7 million views
FORTUNE -- According to Asymco's Horace Dediu, Samsung spends nearly $12 billion a year on advertising, commissions and sales promotions -- more than Apple (AAPL), HP (HPQ), Dell (DELL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Coca Cola (KO) combined.
Where is that money going? Some of it is being spent on TV commercials like the one above featuring some high-priced actors (Seth Rogen, Paul MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 1, 2013 7:33 AM ET
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