This Samsung Promo Video Was So Bad, It Was Pulled A Day After Reddit Found It

The overacting was intentional to reach a Korean audience, one of the actors claims.

Samsung might have a 10-figure advertising budget, but it still managed to create an ad with such bad acting (and horribly sexist undertones) that it was pulled shortly after being spotted—and relentlessly mocked—by Reddit members Thursday.

The promotional video, which highlighted the Samsung 840 EVO Series solid state drive in Korea, featured various actors talking about their computer usage, including a woman, who is painted as being a technologically illiterate, child-rearing housewife. The video featured such overacted lines as:

  • "I never imagined that this SSD would be this good. What have I been doing this whole time?"
  • "It's so easy to use. Look at what I've done. I feel like an expert."
  • "I get bored waiting for large files to copy because it takes so long and sometimes programs freeze. But now it flies."
  • "Have you ever played with little toy bricks before? It's as simple as that." (Admittedly this wasn't a line uttered by any of the actors but was text on the screen.)

One of the purported actors weighed in on Reddit, acknowledging "its not my best work lol," but he laid out some constraints that led to the bad acting:

They force us to speak slowly since this will be dubbed over in Korean, and even when it isnt, most people viewing it will be Korean. They ask us to exaggerate since many Korean people feel thats how we 'naturally' act (most people here are not very expressive). ... the script is brutal. written by non-native english speakers, and sometimes the [production designer] or director wont even take our suggestions to change some parts so they sound like something a normal native english speaker would say.

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  • Bruce Bensetler

    What is being overlooked is the major advance that Samsung has made in using NFC to clone the drives. Just remove the old one, plug in the new one and reboot the computer.

  • Robb

    Unfair comparison. This is not a typical 30-second ad- the kind we
    usually see on our televisions. It is an almost 3-minute long
    presentation of a highly specialized, technical product - the sort of
    thing you would see generally expect to see at a trade show - and, as
    such, was better than average. In fact, I'm going to buy one of these
    gizmos when they come out and upgrade my aging PC. 

  • Norm

    What the people on reddit failed to realize is that this video is NOT
    a commercial. It's not an ad that was ever intended to be shown on TV
    or as a standard commercial on youtube.Samsung intended this video to be a promo video that's shown internally in product demonstrations or shows.Anyone
    who's been to conferences, meetings, expos, or product demonstrations
    know very well that ALL promo videos look like this. Not to mention this
    video was also created for the purpose of dubbing it over with another
    language.If you go to a musical and criticize it by saying it's
    such a horrible movie because everyone's singing, the real idiot is you,
    not the musical, for not realizing the context and intention.Purposeful
    overacting is the norm for these types of promotional materials and
    slow speech is essential for something that is going to be dubbed into
    another language for it's primary audience.Because one idiot on
    reddit was too ignorant to realize all this, the rest of the lemmings on
    the internet are now following suit and erroneously thinking this is a
    horrible "ad".

  • Bob

    Samsung is a hopeless company trying to be Apple. The day they this happens will be the day hell will froze so hard that even devil will be cold dead.

  • Raja Choudhury

    Poor things, they all took their work so seriously - this was their big break - global promo video, unmatchable script, the their careers are over....ah well

  • Pki

    Hummm, imagine that. Online commentators who don't like something. Gee, it's the first time I've every experienced that. Another non-story.

  • Aspiring Gent

    I don't agree with this article web clipping. I feel that this new 840 EVO will be the most permium in fixing my busy life. I feel the commercial is strong and carresing. A number one, great show!

  • Eugene Kim

    I translated it to Korean in my head as I watched the clip and it seems about right. A typical Korean ad, complete with exaggerations, odd but grammatically correct sentences, and directors who won't take advice for fear of looking weak or incompetant. Watch any other Korean ad in that kind of interview style and it will be identical.

  • Ted DiBiase

    Yep, that was my first thought watching this. I have worked on translation industry and live in Japan and have seen similar attempts directly translate marketing campaigns are for a different target market. 

  • Jack

    If this were a real commercial, I can see how it would be horrible.

    But this wasn't made to be a commercial. It was made to be a promo. You see these kinds of videos with the type of acting and dialogue whenever you go to conferences, demonstrations, meetings, etc.

    What's the huge uproar about? It's as if nobody's ever been to a meeting or a demonstration before.

    When making presentations, you try to convey things simply and effectively. Stereotypes and over acting are always done to accomplish that.

  • tom roth.

    If you enjoyed this, check their "vision of the future" film from CES - ie an international, tech-savvy audience - where they explained how flexible HD panels will help ALL OF YOU pick up the same easily impressed airhead in your local chain coffee establishment...

  • David

    I worked in Seoul for a few years as a writer and editor, and nothing about this ad surprises me. Korean media companies are notorious for hiring Koreans to write material in English, which is not their first language, as long as they can pass some paper-based English tests (also written in by Koreans). Most of the time as long as it looks good to Korean bosses, that's all that matters. 

    The resulting media content, therefore, often comes out incredibly weird, unclear, and unnatural sounding. Then this problem is often made worse by managers' refusal to let Western employees change material to something that real English speakers might actually say - which is a cultural issue that often comes down to Korean leaders enjoying how much power they have (in a fairly authoritarian society.) There is also a very high level of inefficiency in many Korean workplaces, and this is one of the results. 

    Here's another great example: South Korea is desperate to improve its image in the world, and spends lots of money advertising itself abroad. Much of this is focused on ineffective sloganeering. A few years ago the Korea Tourism Organisation unveiled the slogan "Korea, Sparkling!" Which of course, makes no damn sense in English. Yet they spent millions of dollars on ads with that copy. Despite the fact that an entire industry of Western editors, writers, and content managers exists in Seoul, who they could have easily hired for some input.
    Here's the Korea Tourism Organisation's attempt to explain why "Korea, Sparkling!" really makes sense to them as a marketing slogan: http://english.visitkorea.or.k...