We’ve talked before about how bad movies happen and we’ve brought in experts to reveal the tips and tricks that let you know that you’re heading toward a creative calamity. The principles are easily applied to commercials, or any other creative endeavor. Sometimes a great idea on paper just doesn’t add up for intangible reasons. But sometimes the red flags are unmissable from the start–in the case of films, say, Nic Cage with facial hair and skateboard tricks are dependable signs that things are not going to end well. In the commercials world, warning signs could include: your ad revolves around the premise, “guy uses tech product to impress/stalk a lady,” and includes the line “hey, pretty lady” in a non-comedic tone.
This year-end treat from Samsung has that and more: a terrible-even-by-ad-student-standards idea, creepy, stalky overtones, stilted acting, English-as-second language writers and performers.
These things happen–in movies and in ads–for a variety of reasons: too many opinions, decisions by committee and research, a deluded creative ego with no checks and balances, just plain mediocrity.
The ad was likely created by Samsung’s more-or-less-in-house marketing arm in Korea and ill-advisedly or accidentally (or purposefully) exported. The company has made headlines before with ads or promotional videos of the stop-presses bad variety (Adweek has some explanatory detail here from an actor in the last atrocity).
So at this point, maybe it’s a strategy–release these signature terrible videos that get guaranteed earned media. It’s easier than actually making good creative product, right?