Apple so rattled by ‘Next Big Thing’ ads, it almost changed ad agency, claims Samsung

Apple senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller was so concerned about Samsung’s Next Big Thing ad campaign, in which the company poked fun at Apple customers, that he emailed Tim Cook to suggest a change of ad agency to fight back – according to a claim by Samsung lawyer Jon Quinn.

The Verge reports that Quinn made the claim in his opening arguments in the patent trial in which Apple is accusing Samsung of violating five of its iOS-related patents.

Quinn says Schiller became “obsessed” with the campaign, writing CEO Tim Cook to suggest the company look into using another ad agency instead of its mainstay TBWA\CHIAT\DAY. That even led to Apple board discussions over the issue, Quinn added …

Quinn claims he can prove this using internal Apple documents that haven’t before been made public. The documents were likely to have supplied to Samsung by Apple as part of the discovery process in which each side must make available to the other materials which shed light on the dispute.

It’s an interesting tack, suggesting that Samsung may attempt to argue that Apple’s patent claim is motivated by concern over Samsung trying to out-cool Apple. A one-line email by Phil Schiller in reference to a WSJ piece entitled Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung reads simply:

We have a lot of work to do to turn this around.

Apple is claiming that copying the iPhone was part of Samsung’s development process. Schiller is scheduled to be Apple’s first witness once opening arguments are complete.

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  1. aeronperyton - 9 years ago

    Apple: Samsung broke the law and here’s the evidence to prove it.

    Samsung: Your suit looks tacky. And your breath stinks.

    It can’t be said enough times, every single person in charge of running Samsung is as stupid and self-absorbed as they are guilty. And they probably don’t even realize it… including the being guilty part.

    • rlowhit - 9 years ago

      Exactly I wonder how the neener neener neener defense is going to work for Samsung.

  2. Samsung doesn’t have any rope to pull so they have to come up with theories like this which is totally ridiculous.

  3. Marketing campaigns should be creative and attractive, not reactive.

  4. rettun1 - 9 years ago

    “They almost copied our ads when we copied their ph- er I mean, when we innovated our phones. Innovation. Innovation.”

    • rettun1 - 9 years ago


  5. I’d have to see the entire email chain, but this seems like a pretty big stretch. Of course, we are talking about the same Phil Schiller who wanted to emulate Sony in the late ’90s. Admittedly, Phil seems like the type of bro that could get a little tweaked out about a competitor’s ad campaign.

    • I don’t know what he’s doing at Apple to be honest. Way too fake an actor when he does his bits on Apple presentations. His chubbiness dosen’t help either.

      • Tallest Skil - 9 years ago

        Oh, yeah. YOU certainly have intelligent things to say on this or any other subject.

      • @Tallest Skill. Thanks man, I see I’m not the only one who thinks like I do :)

    • eldernorm - 9 years ago

      MP, in the late 90’s, Sony was a great company, coming out with high quality and innovative items. Then they got tired and decided to do things the old fashion way. Sell stuff until people would no longer buy it, then sell the next big thing.

      Sadly, the world speed up as Sony slowed down. But on one time, they were great.

      Just saying.

  6. greenbelt2csp - 9 years ago

    “We have a lot of work to do to turn this around.” This is not evidence at all. The next sentence may as well have been

    “First they copy our stuff wholesale, then they make it look like our loyal customers are idiots for not using their stuff, which is basically a copy of our stuff!”

    When I first saw those ads, I thought to myself, “Oh crap, Samsung is going for the low blow” But there’s one single truth when it comes to “normal” people who watch ads like this. If someone is spending their ad time bashing a competitor, neutral people generally don’t read into it, and instead consider the competitor since they must be doing something right if this guy is spending $1 million dollars to tell me they are better than them.” The ads only reinforce those who have already chosen, and rarely recruit new customers. This is why years ago the “leading brand” comparison was adopted. They don’t tell you who is the leading brand, just try to prove to you that they are better than them. Since you don’t know who the benchmark is, the logical conclusion is, well, I’ll buy this one since it’s better than the most popular brand.” But the moment the benchmark is exposed, people will choose the benchmark.

    Another perfect example is Microsoft’s Surface. They’re basically ads for iPads…

  7. Vaclav Vitous (@vasekcz) - 9 years ago

    It needs to create campaign or ad about who was first – iPhone (year) vs. Galaxy phone (year) – Apple ad (year) vs. Samasung (year) …. open eyes for newbie or who forgot this.

  8. darylayala - 9 years ago

    Yeah. That’s why carriers just recently stopped selling iPhone 4 (2010 phone) in 2013 and stopped selling the s2 (2011 phone) in 2013 on top of all it’s ‘next big thing’ specs. Give me a break.

  9. vkd108 - 9 years ago

    Non-fashion victims do their computing at home on their iMacs and use a simple phone just for talking and sending SMSs. :)

  10. herb02135go - 9 years ago

    Too bad this website doesn’t delete useless comments!

    This trial is interesting to watch on many levels. And it’s fun to read the fanboy comments.

    I think this email is excellent insight into the thought prices of Apple management. It did, and still does, view Samsung as competition in global dominance (which Samsung is winning).

    Why do those of you who have such insight about patent law and courtroom strategy hide behind fake username? You mean you’re not really an expert?

    “Samsung’s butt-ugly phone copied Apple!” Whaaa!

  11. scumbolt2014 - 9 years ago

    And this has anything with ScamScum breaking the law by stealing Apple’s intelectual property how? Fuck them.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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