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Funniest Tech Rivalry Commercials

Submitted by on September 23, 2013 – 7:52 amNo Comment

We live in a golden age of tech industry rivalries: Apple and Samsung. Microsoft and Google. Facebook and Twitter. These clashes of Silicon Valley titans have produced lots of things, including innovation, unnecessary litigation, and quite possibly price fixing. But one more pleasant side effect has been some of the smartest, sharpest, most creative marketing since the “I’m a Mac” commercials helped make Apple a powerhouse again. Here are some of my favorites from the last few years.

Samsung- The Next Big Thing

The first iPhone came out in 2007. It’s almost surprising that this expression of iPhone-user hatred took four years to manifest itself. But Samsung ingeniously (and hilariously) turned Apple’s famous “Think Different” tagline on its head with this series of commercials for the Galaxy S2, which have continued for the S3 and S4. In it, iPhone users waiting online at a store approaching release day for an upgraded handset are depicted as image-obsessed wannabes. Some of the dialogue, like the focus on the lack of change in the exterior design, ring especially true for those who follow the (sometimes inane) Apple blog chatter.

Microsoft- Don’t Fight

By this year, the Apple/Samsung battles were well known. Bigger screens and tap-to-transfer versus more apps and less viruses. All the while, Microsoft’s Windows phones (made by Nokia) were sitting on the sidelines. Some bright ad exec realized that sitting outside of- or above- the fray could make Microsoft look good. And it meant it was time for Samsung fanatics to get made fun of right next to the Apple fanboys.

AT&T- “It’s Not That Complicated”

Phone manufacturers aren’t the only ones with an axe to grind: service providers have been making some hilarious attack ads too. AT&T recruited funny guy Beck Bennett (now headed to SNL) and many groups of children to illustrate the point that AT&T’s network is so clearly superior (bigger, faster, cheaper) that even kids can understand. The resulting spots show a deadpan Bennett in a suit and tie running focus groups with the youngsters, usually ending with a final deadpan reaction to the children’s absurdity. I can’t keep a straight face when Bennett says, “That’s a pain in the buns.”

T-Mobile- JUMP!

T-Mobile set out to make itself the “uncarrier,” largely by freeing customers from two year contracts. To sell their idea, they got Bill Hader, fresh off his years as the most indispensable man on SNL, to portray a guy who just can’t get a break as he waits for two years to pass so he can upgrade his phone. It’s hard to choose a funniest one, but this one is definitely the most cringe-inducing.

Did I miss any? What are your favorite funny tech ads?

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