Friday 23 May 2014
Samsung has something they think you should see: an "Ultra High Definition" curved television. And their new commercial ("The Curve Changes Everything") has a boat-load of celebrities selling the pitch.
Maybe Samsung thinks most of us haven't seen all those movies — some of them are more than 10 years old! — but I don't think that those clips mean what Samsung thinks they mean. Here, I'll explain the clips in the order they appear:
- Clueless: The two characters are excited to see their scheme to romantically couple their teachers working, a scheme intended to improve their grades. Samsung, it's probably a bad idea to remind viewers that you are trying to manipulate us right out of the gate.
- Jurassic Park: Sam Neil is taking off his glasses because he cannot believe what he is seeing. What he is seeing is a dinosaur. Is this new television is just more of the same old thing?
- The Island: The scientist is discussing a clone's ability to grow. This would be a good message if that was what the scientists wanted. Samsung is saying, "This TV is not going to do what you want it to do!" (Disclaimer: this is the only clip I didn't recognize on sight. As a rule, I try to avoid Michael Bay movies.)
- The Fly: The movie opens with these lines, and Jeff Goldblum goes on to use cutting-edge technology to turn himself into a monster. Samsung is saying, "This TV is really not going to do what you want it to do!" (See? I didn't need to waste my time with The Island!)
- Trouble with the Curve: The movie's title alone should be a reason to avoid this clip, but Amy Adams' dialogue is calling out someone who literally has trouble with a curve.
- Back to the Future: Doc is shown saying "Do you know what this means?" The very next line is "It means that this damn thing doesn't work at all!" (I can't be the only person in America who has most of this movie memorized.)
- Tommy Boy: Chris Farley is referencing David Spade's character Richard, a snide jerk who no one likes. Read: only jerks know about Samsung televisions.
- Cosmos: This isn't from a movie but a television show. Carl Sagan is discussing how Eratosthenes proved the Earth was round — because bigger curves produced bigger shadows. Granted, you don't need to know the history of astronomy to know that a curved television isn't useful to anyone who isn't sitting directly in front of it.
- Dumb and Dumber: Finally, an appropriate clip! Jim Carrey's character is talking about falling in love. Beautiful, unrequited love. It might be more convincing if his character wasn't an idiot.
- Jaws: First, Sam Neil sees a dinosaur. Now Roy Scheider witnesses a shark attack. Is this television dangerous?
- Turbo: Another appropriate clip! "Juicy" may not be the best adjective for an electronic appliance, but the sentiment is right.
- Lebron James: "Unbelievable!" says Marv Albert in this, the most fitting clip in the entire commercial. (I would not be surprised if the Heat went on to lose this game.)
- Gravity: Next George Clooney asks what Sandra Bullock likes, and she says "the silence." Not a good endorsement for the television's sound system.
- Screaming Goat: Internet videos? Because you need a $40K television to watch YouTube videos?
- Godzilla: In theaters now! Another case of a monster created by technology. This is the fourth cautionary "technology will kill us all" clip in this commercial for an advanced technology. What, couldn't they find any soundbites to use from Terminator or Colossus: The Forbin Project?
- Zoolander: Beware, Will Ferrell's Mustafa is a man who thinks trash is beautiful.
- Field of Dreams: Sure, it's a great line, but it's a reference to nostalgia for an era that predated television. The line is weirdly out of place in a promotion for the future of televisions.
There's a 30-second cut of the same commercial, and it's much worse, eliminating all of the appropriate clips and keeping the ones they think people will recognize. Yeah, maybe I watch too many movies. But after seeing those commercials, I don't think that Samsung is really trying to reach people who watch movies.
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