|The Recent Apple vs. Samsung advert controversy and why it isn’t one.
There has been quite a lot of hot air floating about the internet, (I really don’t know how the internet works), recently about a pair of adverts released by Apple and Samsung, the adverts in question feature the same actress, which levels at the ads the accusation that Samsung copied Apple, that not only is the girl the same, but the entire advert is copied, here’s Apple’s, here’s Samsung’s (hyperlink).
The first thing you may notice about the two adverts is the difference in languages, this is because the Apple advert was intended for an American audience and the Samsung advert was intended for a South Korean audience. The chances of a South Korean watching American commercials, is about the same as an American watching South Korean commercials, not impossible, just very unlikely, and the chances of someone noticing is even more unlikely than that.
The reaction would however, still be warranted if a foreign Allstate car insurance commercial started using a Gecko as an advertising figure, or if a foreign McDonalds advert featured a Southern gent in white clothes calling himself the lieutenant, then they would be copying a tried, tested and successful advertising technique. What the two adverts did here, is use the same child actor.
The second thing you might notice is that apart from the same actor, the two adverts are completely different, which is stretching the definition of copying, quite a bit. The Samsung ad has the girl and her father playing and learning with a tablet, the Apple ad, a person taking a picture of a girl, then flipping through other pictures of the same girl. Now, don’t get me wrong, the chance of them both picking the same stock photo model / actress is unmistakably remote, but all this means is that someone in charge of Samsung marketing was looking through other tech ads, saw the girl and decided to use her in their advert, and that’s not copying. If a film director, watches a film, and decides to cast the same actor in his movie, its because he liked the actor, not because he wants to remake the film.