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I’ve seen this “Unbox your phone” Samsung campaign in a few places around New York. I like the photography. It’s eye catching and beautiful. But from a messaging standpoint I can’t tell if it will be effective.

It feels similar to Android’s “Be together, not the same,” campaign, a not-so-subtle jab at Apple implying that every iPhone (and every iPhone user) is the same. It appeals to a sense of creativity and desire for uniqueness. The issue is, uniqueness is scary. It takes effort, The iPhone is safe. It makes everything easy, does everything I want, and still allows for customization in the form of app choices, phone case, phone background, etc. Samsung does have more unique options, and many of those options are better than an iPhone in many respects.

But in an age decision fatigue and choice paralysis (you can be anything you want (career)! You can watch anything you want (Netflix/Hulu/hbo/etc)! You can eat anything you want (seamless, doordash, grocery store)!) the idea of also having to Unbox my phone feels.. exhausting.

I will stand in a 25 minute line at Trader Joe’s because there is one brand of everything. Give me some choice, but not all the choice.
Now, there is a certain pride and social currency that comes with being yourself and making your own choices. So if Samsung’s goal was to increase pride and loyalty in those who already have a Samsung, this ad could be spot on. But in terms of selling me, an iPhone user, on choosing a Samsung, this ad tells me that the switch to Samsung will involve work. Not appealing.

Id like Samsung to walk me through my options. What does unboxing my phone mean, for me?

 

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