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2/4/2013
08:53 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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BlackBerry, Samsung Super Bowl Ads: Only Semi-Successful

BlackBerry and Samsung both took humorous turns with their Super Bowl commercials, with mixed results.

"In 30 seconds, it's quicker to show you what it can't do," said BlackBerry of the new Z10 smartphone during its Super Bowl commercial. Not exactly the best choice of words for a company that is launching its do-or-die device and platform.

The ad (below) features a man walking around city streets with his new BlackBerry Z10. As he walks around using his device, he bursts into flames, grows elephant legs, explodes into a puff of clown smoke and turns a hurtling tanker trunk into rubber ducks before it squashes some pedestrians.

The BlackBerry Z10 can do none of these things, it is true. BlackBerry didn't lie in the ad. It also didn't say one positive thing about its brand new platform and device. The ad didn't show a close-up of the phone, the user interface nor anything the device can do.

It was a slightly humorous 30-second spot, though I can't say BlackBerry will get much return on its investment. The reaction to the ad on Twitter during the game was more negative than positive. The company didn't provide one compelling reason why consumers should care about its brand new smartphone.

[ Regardless of the ads, there is one key question: Is the BlackBerry 10 right for you? ]

Samsung's ad was probably a bit more effective. The ad used actors Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd, who ostensibly have both been invited to Samsung's marketing offices to audition for or discuss being spokespeople for the device/brand. The two argue for a few moments alone in a waiting room before being called into a meeting with a Samsung marketing suit. Then the three discuss possible ad campaigns and there's a pretty witty cameo by LeBron James close to the end.

Throughout the ad, they repeatedly use the words "Samsung" and "Galaxy" and the Samsung slogan "the next big thing is already here." There's a really funny bit about the Note II's stylus, as well. Though Samsung's devices are barely present in the ad, and none of the features are really shown in any detail, Samsung did a better job of at least alluding to the device's legitimate features and uses. Samsung was also better about getting its brand and slogans in there. The ad cost Samsung $15 million to produce.

The reaction on Twitter during the game to Samsung's ad was slightly better than to the BlackBerry ad.

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