Samsung’s N140 netbook (currently available in Russia, Germany, Italy and the UK) is making some media appearances, including some publicity shots and a lengthy promotional video. I must admit, I am completely entranced by this video. Not because I particularly want an N140, but because I am trying to figure out what is going on and why any of it should make me desire this netbook.
I’ll state upfront that I’m not a fan of advertisements that try to be sly and sidelong about what they’re advertising. Yes, the N140 is in almost every shot. However, in the first few it’s not being used, it’s just off to the side, hanging out. Your eye is instinctively drawn to the woman whose alluring gaze fills the screen in the first shot, then is seen stretching sexily in bed, then practicing her coquettishness in the bathroom mirror. Finally we get to where she uses the N140 to send an email to her “Hunny” telling him to pick her up from the train station in Paris. Okay then.
After that we’re treated to many shots of her using the N140 in several places throughout the day, including one where she again stretches sexily, but this time on the grass under a tree. Her Hunny is being annoyingly unresponsive, not answering emails or the phone. But she loves and trusts him, so she packs and heads off to the train station. For some reason she leaves her netbook at home and, lo, Thierry cannot pick her up and he’s sorry. Our heroine doesn’t know this because she hasn’t got her netbook and, even if she did, it doesn’t seem to have 3G so she wouldn’t know, anyway.
The last shot is of her getting on the train and we’re left to imagine the sadness, heartbreak, frustration and possibly expensive cab fare in her future. Also: Buy Samsung.
This kind of promotional material ranks right up there with the increasing number of ads wherein elegant models in elegant clothes hold netbooks elegantly but do not look like they actually use them. It’s no great revelation that advertising is more about image than substance, and ad execs learned long ago that in order to sell a product sometimes all you need to do is put a beautiful woman next to it and be done. Still, I can’t imagine that being very effective in the tech world. I’m also not an ad exec, so there you go.
So tell me, after watching that video, what message do you think Samsung is trying to convey? Always take your netbook with you, especially on the train? Men are irresponsible jerks? Beautiful women need netbooks, too? Don’t go to Paris?
Is this commercial aimed at women or at men? I’m not sure who it’s meant to appeal to.
If you can pierce or peel back the many layers of meaning here and get to the message, please enlighten us.
Update: This video is part of a larger story (one that makes sense, even!). Click here to see the saga unfold.