Let me start by saying, I have no problems with ads that take shots at the competition. In fact, one of the best campaigns I ever wrote was competitive.
So why do I dislike this Samsung Galaxy S III spot so much?
It's not because the target of its derision is the iPhone. I don't own one, and even though I own several other Mac products, I don't covet one.
What bothers me about this spot – and prevents it from doing its most important job – is its tone.
You're not going to change the minds of people who own and want iPhones by telling them they're dumb, mindless sheep who have no idea what they're talking about – as over five million iPhone 5 sold last week demonstrates.
The humor just isn't funny or surprising enough to disarm the viewer and take the edge off the insults. Okay, the guy saving a place for his mom and dad is a little funny, but for the most part it lacks the subtlety that makes a spot like this work. As the commercial lurches from feature to feature, it feels like it was written by a junior marketing director, not a professional copywriter.
There's a fine line between having fun and making fun, and when you make fun of the people you'd like to have spend money on your product, they're less likely to do so.