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Samsung caught presenting actors as Galaxy Tab "consumers," fudging thinnest tablet claims

post #1 of 189
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After being forced to admit that its two million Galaxy Tabs last fall were just inventory and not actually sales to consumers, Samsung is now being accused of paying actors to pretend to be Galaxy Tab buyers and faking its claim that its redesigned tablet will be thinner than iPad 2 as originally claimed.

An exposé by Harry McCracken of Technologizer pointed out that the company's "Galaxy Tab Interview Project" purported to depict real consumers from "a variety of backgrounds," but was actually a staged presentation hiring paid actors to feign interest in its tablet products.

At the introduction of the company's revised Galaxy Tab, the company presented two stories of what appeared to be very satisfied Galaxy Tab owners, albeit voicing clumsy and phony sounding comments.

Joan Hess, described as a freelance travel writer, said "I would mostly use it communicating with people all around the globe when I'm on the move," before giggling "it's sexy, like me!"

A second spot with independent film director Karl Shefelman presented the filmmaker using the yet unreleased Galaxy Tab 10.1, a product originally announced in February and then sent back to the drawing board for a June release after Apple debuted iPad 2.



"Thinnest tablet on the market" not actually thinnest, nor on the market

After taking a moment between what were described as "true life stories," Samsung's chief product and technology officer Omar Khan introduced a revised Galaxy Tab 10.1, which he called the thinnest and lightest tablet "in the market," a clear shot at Apple's iPad 2.

However, despite describing the new Galaxy Tab design, slated to become available in June, as being 0.2 millimeters thinner than Apple's currently shipping iPad 2, reviewers at InformationWeek comparing the new Galaxy Tab prototype against iPad 2 have since published photos that show that the iPad 2 is actually thinner than the nonfunctional cases Samsung demonstrated.

After asking Samsung for comment, the report stated, "there was really no official Samsung response other than to say that the specifications are 8.6 mm. He was at a loss for words."



Acting! Genius! Thank You!

A third interview introduced Joseph Kolinski as a real estate CEO, referring to him as a "consumer" who had "picked the Galaxy Tab 8.9," a second version of the company's revised tablet lineup which also won't be available until June.

Kolinski said "I'm not very tech savvy," then recited a story about how he was skeptical of "toys," until the Galaxy Tab 8.9 helped him to stay on top of his busy schedule, noting how he was "surprised how productive he was able to be with it."

Given that the device does not actually turn on yet, real gains in productivity would be rather surprising. McCracken investigated the real life stories and found that Hess and Kolinski are actually New York actors, while Shefelman, "works for a New York production company, one thats done work for Samsung."

This all happened before

Samsung's "real life story" charade is reminiscent of two Microsoft ad campaigns, one featuring Laura, who said she picked a Windows PC because she "wasn't cool enough for a Mac." It was later revealed she was actually an actress.

A second Microsoft ad, published in response to Apple's "Switcher" campaign, was entitled "Confessions of a Mac to PC convert," and featured a woman describing why she had decided to move from a Mac to a Windows PC.

The print ad portrayed her as saying "Yes, it's true. I like the Microsoft Windows XP operating system enough to change my whole computing world around. [...] Windows XP gives me more choices and flexibility and better compatibility with the rest of the computing world."

It was later revealed that an advertising copywriter for Microsoft simply made up the woman's comments and that the woman herself was actually just a stock photography model.
post #2 of 189
Good lord! Oh dear! My my my!
post #3 of 189
They weren't the first to get caught doing this and they won't be the last. Just watch politicians talking.

If only there were laws against lying about products in advertising. Actually it takes someone to sue a company about false claims before the government will ever do anything about it. Even then the government usually just tells a company to stop their false ads and that's all they'll do.
post #4 of 189
What's next? Are we to find out that Justin Long is not really a Mac?

I assumed that everyone in commercials was an actor!
post #5 of 189
Shame on you Samsung. If you can't compete fairly burt out of the Tablet race.
post #6 of 189
These articles are wrong about Kalinski's name. That's his name in real life but, Samsung changed actor Kalinski's name to "Karinski" as can be seen at 25:15
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post #7 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by euler View Post

What's next? Are we to find out that Justin Long is not really a Mac?

I assumed that everyone in commercials was an actor!

Unless of course the company states these are real life testimonials- making them desperate liars.
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post #8 of 189
Samsung didn't have to pay actors they could have got DaHarder to do it.

I've seen and used the 10.1 tablet, they are real and they do exist, I attended a launch in Australia on Wednesday night, Vodafone Australia will be their exclusive supplier and they are currently taking registrations of interest.

I should have taken my micrometer and measured it, it was pretty thin and was running Honeycomb, I haven't seen an iPad 2 yet so don't know if it is thinner.
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post #9 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Samsung didn't have to pay actors they could have got DaHarder to do it.

I've seen and used the 10.1 tablet, they are real and they do exist, I attended a launch in Australia on Wednesday night, Vodafone Australia will be their exclusive supplier and they are currently taking registrations of interest.

I should have taken my micrometer and measured it, it was pretty thin and was running Honeycomb, I haven't seen an iPad 2 yet so don't know if it is thinner.

Huh? I'm not sure what you saw, but Samsung doesn't have any working versions to show and say they won't be shipping till June. They are going to sell the original, "fat" version, so maybe you saw one of those.
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post #10 of 189
I do not think there was a single person in the auditorium where they made the announcement. That too looked to be staged as well, you did not hear a single clap or comment, unlike an Apple event.
post #11 of 189
Honestly, I don't know how stupid people have to be to try and get away with stuff like this, in this day and age. 20 seconds after anyone says anything, it's seen by a gazillion people all over the 'net. It's just idiotic to think you'll pull something over on people.

The positive from this: That Joan Hess gal has some nice gams.

The negative: Everything else.

And really, that copy was just TERRIBLE! Isn't Samsung a multi-billion dollar company? They can't pay someone -- anyone! -- who can write better copy than that? Yeesh.

You have an event where introduce a new device, but it won't turn on. You claim that it's thinner than the competition, but it isn't. You claim to have customers talking about how great your products are, but they aren't customers at all, but actors. You have them spout ridiculously horrible copy. You have a guy talk about how your new (non-functioning) device has helped him so much.

I'm no MBA, but frankly, I could have put something better together in half an hour. At this point, the quality of the product is secondary, really.

What a disaster.
post #12 of 189
Companies/Ad firms do this all the time.

This is nothing new.

It's VERY clear from the video that they're actors. They're practically reading off of a Samsung advertisement.
In this case, it doesn't seem like Samsung was trying to represent them as actual people unlike the Microsoft 'Get a Mac' campaign.
post #13 of 189
So, if Sammy pays people to pretend they like the Tab, I wonder if they will pay people to camp out and form lines outside of BB. And where does one apply for these jobs?
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #14 of 189
that was just painful
post #15 of 189
Sad...so sad.
post #16 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by cinder View Post

Companies/Ad firms do this all the time.

This is nothing new.

It's VERY clear from the video that they're actors. They're practically reading off of a Samsung advertisement.
In this case, it doesn't seem like Samsung was trying to represent them as actual people unlike the Microsoft 'Get a Mac' campaign.

Except for the fact that they're introduced as being part of the Tab "interview" project complete with full names, occupations and ages. The fact the Samsung isn't smart enough to hire actors that can act naturally doesn't equal "not trying to pass them off as real people."
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post #17 of 189
Shameful shit
post #18 of 189
EPIC FAIL of the year.
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post #19 of 189
Not surprising, really. It's sort of what you expect from Samsung.
post #20 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Samsung didn't have to pay actors they could have got DaHarder to do it.

I've seen and used the 10.1 tablet, they are real and they do exist, I attended a launch in Australia on Wednesday night, Vodafone Australia will be their exclusive supplier and they are currently taking registrations of interest.

I should have taken my micrometer and measured it, it was pretty thin and was running Honeycomb, I haven't seen an iPad 2 yet so don't know if it is thinner.

Yeah right. Also are you blind, and can't see the photo here of the two posted side by side?

And how is it you were so lucky to get a working version of it? According to Samsung its non working.
post #21 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuwafuwa View Post

EPIC FAIL of the year.

Oh, the year is young, my friend. The iPad 2 is going to make even bigger fools out of a lot more companies before it's over.
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #22 of 189
Now I'm wondering if Samsung isn't getting jealous of how RIM is getting all the crazy points of late.

After their unnervingly unhinged "Zoll" fest last month and the odd equivocating on Tab sell through numbers, now this?

And what's with the utterly tone-deaf, Amway in hell style of presentation? They're completely depressing. Shitty music, shitty graphics, shitty concepts, shitty choreography, coupled to a completely unwarranted self image as one of the world's great innovators, or something. Is it a Korean thing?

And how garbled is the message when you show a tablet, unshow it, have an employee admit that the iPad 2 made them realize they had to rethink things, deny that ever happened, then show up a few weeks later claiming that you've developed and engineered two new products in less than a month because the mobile space "moves so quickly"? They're coming off like malfunctioning hype robots, just spewing market speak in over-amplified chunks of non sequitur.

The merits of their hardware notwithstanding, their marketing makes Apple looks like an advanced race of space aliens.
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post #23 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Huh? I'm not sure what you saw, but Samsung doesn't have any working versions to show and say they won't be shipping till June. They are going to sell the original, "fat" version, so maybe you saw one of those.

This is the only photo I took.



http://vodafone.com.au/personal/andr...ab-hpb-her-cta

Maybe it is the "fat" version 10.99mm
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post #24 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by euler View Post

I assumed that everyone in commercials was an actor!

Me too. This is not a scandal, as far as I know everyone just assumes the "real people" in these slickly produced things are not actually real people.
post #25 of 189
"Given that the device does not actually turn on yet, real gains in productivity would be rather surprising.”

Classic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Me too. This is not a scandal, as far as I know everyone just assumes the "real people" in these slickly produced things are not actually real people.

Everyone assumes that actors are common in marketing, yes. But everyone also knows that real testimonials ARE used in marketing as well.

Passing one off as the other is what’s in question here: such as the phrase "true-life stories,” which is phrasing NOT commonly used with actors. Although in this case, Samsung did not pull it off at all well They weren’t going to fool anyone... they probably just didn’t think it through fully (not unlike the product itself?).
post #26 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

This is the only photo I took.

Isn't it weird that Samsung themselves can't get a working version at their event, then?
post #27 of 189
8.9 and 10.1? There is near zero differentiation here. They made a bunch of 8.9s and have to sell them. They can't not make an iPad-sized version. They're stuck with two.

Did I miss something or did NONE of the on-stage units have a screen that so much as lit up?

Surround sound? From a small unit like that? Zero actual value.

Isn't the travel agent using the white-backed 7" unit? That's like running an iPad ad and having someone use an iPT...

At least they were savvy enough to have the film director wearing the trendy scarf and stroking his beard thoughtfully.

That exec keeps operating his Tab while crossing the street he'll be multitasking. He'll learn to zip off emails while trying to use a bedpan in traction.

This must be the gig you get after staging the Microsoft iPhone funeral procession.
post #28 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Me too. This is not a scandal, as far as I know everyone just assumes the "real people" in these slickly produced things are not actually real people.

As far as you know, should companies follow the FTC Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which state:

Quote:
When the advertisement represents that the endorser uses the endorsed product, the
endorser must have been a bona fide user of it at the time the endorsement was given.
Additionally, the advertiser may continue to run the advertisement only so long as it has good
reason to believe that the endorser remains a bona fide user of the product.

...and...

Quote:
Advertisers are subject to liability for false or unsubstantiated statements made through endorsements, or for failing to disclose material connections between themselves and their endorsers
post #29 of 189
Seriously, great read. Tone is classic, yet writing still concise and clear. AI is one of the greats.

And well I lol'd as I read, and respond now, to this on my new iPad 2.
post #30 of 189
As stated in Samsung's presentation, these may be real consumers' stories, the actors in the videos are merely portraying the consumer. There's simply no way that your typical person on the street acts that way in front of a camera. Especially the intro, walk-up scene. This is way to involved for non-actors, even many film makers are awkward on the lens side of the camera. Like microsoft's pathetic attempts, this is just as phony

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post #31 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Isn't it weird that Samsung themselves can't get a working version at their event, then?

Pretty sure the one hill60 played with is the yet-to-be-released in Australia yet-already-superceded model, which is still coming here sometime soon-ish.
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post #32 of 189
I guess my comment on this article is the same as those about the Xoom - there's no need to do that, these tablets are not even in the same league as the iPad, very few people are buying them, they're not a threat and it's a waste of resources to generate negative PR about these tablets.
post #33 of 189
Oh man, that video is hard to watch. A bunch of script reading walking dead. They can't even look into the camera. How embarrassing for them. Painful.

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post #34 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

Pretty sure the one hill60 played with is the yet-to-be-released in Australia yet-already-superceded model, which is still coming here sometime soon-ish.

LOL

This whole thing was a train-wreck.
post #35 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

I do not think there was a single person in the auditorium where they made the announcement. That too looked to be staged as well, you did not hear a single clap or comment, unlike an Apple event.

The whole press event, or whatever they called it, reeked of fraud from top to bottom. And the first two execs who spoke seemed to be 'demanding' you believe them. They were practically shouting at the camera, while speaking in the vaguest terms. And I loved the disingenuous references to 'the competition'. Gee, wonder who THAT might be? (Maybe if they don't mention 'Apple' it'll go away.)

I think the avoidance of the word 'Apple' bothered me as much as anything, because if you're honest, you admit first off that Apple invented the category. Acknowledge the obvious, for crying out loud. Then, if you have a real innovation to offer, it's in context and people might hear and believe you.

The whole thing was just ugly, lying garbage.
post #36 of 189
Samsung has poop all over themselves.

they have yet to own up to the 7" Galaxy charade. probably a million or more unsold in warehouses. that can never be upgraded beyond Android 2.x. how long can they hide the loss/truth?

then the "V" tab hype. it's great! oh, wait a minute, it's not. but buy one anyway, you suckers in GB.

and now we have actors and vaporware. except the 10.1 prototype is not as thin as the press release says. and they get busted for it.

clearly there is a desperate CEO in Korea who is totally desperate, saying anything to try to hang on to his job. and instructing his minions accordingly. he's DOA today, right now.

Bye Bye.
post #37 of 189
I'm lost at words, aghast at what Samsung desperately would do for the sake of 'competition'.. But thank goodness, Harry McCracken, the writer of that Technologizer article said it perfectly: "... (Samsung) decided to build its own happy Galaxy Tab users rather than find them in the wild." LOL

Samsung has gone so low to shoot itself on its own foot, like McCracken has said it too, the ad clip is not a documentary but it's actually a mockumentary. Samsung, do you think no one will ever find out? Shame on you Samsung, you're drowning into the same level as Microsoft.. *snicker*
post #38 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

The whole press event, or whatever they called it, reeked of fraud from top to bottom. And the first two execs who spoke seemed to be 'demanding' you believe them. They were practically shouting at the camera, while speaking in the vaguest terms. And I loved the disingenuous references to 'the competition'. Gee, wonder who THAT might be? (Maybe if they don't mention 'Apple' it'll go away.)

I think the avoidance of the word 'Apple' bothered me as much as anything, because if you're honest, you admit first off that Apple invented the category. Acknowledge the obvious, for crying out loud. Then, if you have a real innovation to offer, it's in context and people might hear and believe you.

The whole thing was just ugly, lying garbage.

Yeah, that's part of the vibe I was talking about in my previous post-- they come on like they're the acknowledged rulers of the universe and it's almost threatening.

If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to check out the video of the Zoll fiasco. It's like they're putting their marketing instincts through one of those shitty online translations and getting mangled gibberish.
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post #39 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

The whole press event, or whatever they called it, reeked of fraud from top to bottom. And the first two execs who spoke seemed to be 'demanding' you believe them. They were practically shouting at the camera, while speaking in the vaguest terms. And I loved the disingenuous references to 'the competition'. Gee, wonder who THAT might be? (Maybe if they don't mention 'Apple' it'll go away.)

I think the avoidance of the word 'Apple' bothered me as much as anything, because if you're honest, you admit first off that Apple invented the category. Acknowledge the obvious, for crying out loud. Then, if you have a real innovation to offer, it's in context and people might hear and believe you.

The whole thing was just ugly, lying garbage.

Hear, hear..

PS: but keep in mind though, Apple didn't actually 'invented' the tablet category, it already exist long before the iPad launched. Apple just make it so cool and good, that everybody now know what a tablet is.
post #40 of 189
This can't be real. I am sure there must be a better explanation.

Then again......
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