An affable Australian blogger happened to be in the store at the time and caught the bulk of the mirthless flashmob on video. And, of course, it’s now on YouTube.
This kind of grandstanding, complete with utilitarian black clothing and joyless slogan, comes off uglier than Samsung probably intends. Though the ploy is clearly meant as a stab at Apple as a company, they’re missing the mark and calling Apple users stupid and mindless. Even when Apple did their controversial “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” ad campaign, they were careful to take aim at a humanized “PC”, but not to mock PC users themselves. Going to an Apple store so you can stand outside and broadcast a message that insults Apple users is a bit like going to Mecca to tell Muslims they’re brainwashed: No matter how right you think you are, it’s a bad time to act like you have the home court advantage.
I remember when Sony launched the Playstation 2 and supply was critically low, thus inciting a lot of angry customers who showed up with money in hand but couldn’t buy the hot new console. Sega got a truck to drive around Sony’s Metreon center in San Francisco, carrying a huge sign of an ugly kid making a “neener neener” face below the caption “We’d like to extend our sympathies to Sony during their Playstation shortage”. Sega managed to find the sweet spot where they could mocking the company while still being able to play on consumers’ frustration, and they did it with humor. Was it a good marketing tactic? At the time, Sony and Sega were competitors in the console space, but today only one of them still has a console for sale… and it’s not Sega.
Samsung may want to take note.