Here’s a great ad for the Samsung Galaxy S II. It’s great because it gets a lot of things done, quickly.
First, they manage to be offensive. That’s a good thing, because invariably you’ll get people who are easily offended to talk about it, and probably share it around. The end result of hysterical people is usually increased awareness – I’m sure Eminem sold a LOT more albums after all those Christians tried boycotting him in the early 00s.
Think the agency that created this isn’t aware of that? They have a paid placement for this video on YouTube, showing the frame with Jesus on a unicycle. It’s brilliant idiot baiting. Because this isn’t an American product yet – they are pushing it in the American market to let us know it’s coming. What better way to get some easy word-of-mouth than to get bunched up Americans bemoaning their ad?
More importantly, the offensiveness has a place in the ad. It isn’t just shocking for the sake of shocking, but works to show the clarity of their screen (even if it does look a little simulated) and at times creates a metaphor for what they want to say, like the Russian dancer “kicking ass.” We’ve had shock for the sake of shock so long, it’s no longer shocking. People actually demand a good reason for the shock given, or else they write it off as what it usually is – cynical pandering.
That isn’t what was done here, and I appreciate it. This moves fast, has a concept, and doesn’t trip over itself trying to be funny at the expense of their core message: “Our mobile product does a lot of stuff well, and looks neat.”