Samsung is taking its fight with Apple (AAPL) out of the courtroom and into the Super Bowl arena with its 30-second spot for the big game.
The smartphone rivals have been trading barbs in patent fights all over the world as Apple contends that Samsung's Galaxy tablet is too similar to the iPad. Most recently, the European Union turned up the heat on Samsung this week after it announced it will investigate whether Samsung tried to hurt competitors. Germany even blocked sales of the Galaxy tablet.
In terms of smartphones, Samsung also started off 2012 on the wrong foot after it told investors that it shipped 36 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2011. That number handily beat rivals Nokia (NOK), Sony Ericsson and Motorola (MMI) but failed to top Apple (AAPL), which shipped 37 million handsets in the fourth quarter as it launched the iPhone 4S.Samsung ended up beating Apple in terms of smartphone shipments in 2011, though, pushing out 95 million devices to Apple's 93 million. And Samsung isn't done fighting with Apple yet, if the South Korean company's Super Bowl ad is any indication. The quick spot shows rabid fanatics camping out overnight outside what looks like an Apple retail location, presumably for the next iteration of the iPhone. Those first in line look longingly at a friend's Samsung smartphone, which comes with turn-by-turn directions -- something the iPhone currently lacks. Samsung throws in a nice jab by having one of the Apple fanboys ask how much the "app" costs, but it's doubtful any iPhone user cares enough about turn-by-turn directions to escape the Apple ecosystem. But we like that Samsung is putting Apple and its evangelicals directly in the cross hairs, something few others have been brave enough to do since Microsoft (MSFT) and T-Mobile meekly swung and missed. Samsung may want Apple fans to feel like they were "Samsung'd," but the iPhone 5 could easily make every other device user feel Apple'd. Teleflora
How do you make up for a Super Bowl ad disaster? You get right back up on that horse, but this time you hire an internationally known supermodel to give your sales pitch. Teleflora was in a plum spot last year, armed with a Super Bowl commercial featuring Faith Hill set to run a week before Valentine's Day. With the highly coveted male demographic sitting on their couches, it was a perfect time for florists to deliver a helpful reminder to keep men out of the doghouse. But Teleflora's third shot at a Super Bowl ad was considered a major flop in 2011, with nearly everyone a bit creeped out by the moron who tapped into his heart to compliment his girlfriend ... on her body. Teleflora promised viewers a "laugh-out-loud Valentine's Day spot," but it was universally panned. Well, Teleflora isn't dissuaded from shelling out the money again. This time, Teleflora landed Brazilian model Adriana Lima, famous for her run as a Victoria's Secret Angel. Normally, we'd applaud this as a smart move, but considering Kia's ad, would have to say men are likely to pay more attention to supermodels and cars than supermodels and flowers.