The funniest ad attacks between Google, Apple and Samsung

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
The funniest ad attacks between Google, Apple and Samsung
As much as some fans like to argue with each other about smartphone brands and defend the one they've chosen, it's not like the brands themselves always keep it cool.

Some of the biggest names in the smartphone world, namely Google, Samsung and Apple, have fired shorts at each other for your attention, in the form of attack advertising. Some more than others, of course.

And what are "attack ads"? They're advertisements or full ad campaigns designed to make one's product seem superior to the competition's product. If you grew up in the 90s, you may remember SEGA vs. Nintendo, or in the 2000s – the famous PC vs. Mac "Get a Mac" ad campaign by Apple.

But it's not the 90s anymore, and ads are now more than just "our thing is cool and its competition sucks". Modern attack ads like the ones we're about to check out can be very funny, and especially clever.

Let's see some of the best Google, Apple and Samsung ads where they took shots at each other for our attention and amusement.

Samsung slaps Apple with the Notch family

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This ad campaign has suspiciously disappeared from Samsung's official YouTube channel, but thankfully it's been backed up, so we can still enjoy it.

In 2017 Apple released the iPhone X – the company's first smartphone with a notch. Back then almost all phones still had uniform top and bottom bezels around the display instead of the notches, holepunch cameras and even under-display ones we get today.

So the iPhone X's then-unusual notch was the perfect target for ridicule, and Samsung was quick to take a jab at Apple, portraying its users as people with notch-shaped haircuts, while at the same time poking fun at the iPhone's camera performance, lack of microSD slot, headphone jack, and of course, how the notch covers up some of the screen.

Oh how we laughed and laughed, until Samsung's own phones started shipping without a microSD slot, headphone jack, and in the case of the Galaxy Fold, even with a notch. What a crazy world we live in!

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What's next? Apple removing the iPhone charger out of the retail box, Samsung making fun of that too, then also doing it?

Google RIPs LG: "When the maker of your old phone stops making phones"

If only we could show you this ad, but as it seems to happen a lot, Google recently removed it, and so far it doesn't appear anyone's backed it up. But I didn't forget it, Google, I'll never forget. And if you've been around PhoneArena last week you may have seen it already.

This ad started with the following line, which made it abundantly clear whom Google was making fun of:

"113 reasons you should switch to Google Pixel when the maker of your old phone stops making phones"

LG was never actually name-dropped in the ad, nor was it a mean-spirited one, but for whatever reason Google did remove it less than a week after launching it.

What the ad entailed was a list of reasons to buy a Google Pixel. But some of those reasons were humorous, like "When you say "Pixel" someone might think you said "pickle" and give you one. Boom! Free pickles!", while others were pointing out genuine Pixel features you may like.

Hopefully Google re-uploads or re-enables this ad. At least Samsung lets its attack ads run for more than a week before disabling them.

Apple schools Android about privacy

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It's reasonable to assume that this ad is making fun of Google, or Google's Android operating system in general.

As some of you may have noticed, privacy has become one of Apple's biggest iPhone selling points over the recent years, as it should be. While iPhone users get to choose not to be tracked by apps and see exactly what type of data each app may request from them, Android users don't have those privileges.

So this ad shows a man going through his day as more and more people begin to stalk him, who of course represent companies collecting his private data.

In the end, he just sits down, takes a seemingly random iPhone from a table and clicks the "Ask App Not to Track" button most iPhone users are probably very familiar with by now. It's part of a pop up message that normally shows up when you install a new app (e.g. Facebook) and lets you choose whether to allow it, or not allow it to track you.

Considering Facebook's temper tantrums over the recent months, most iPhone users seem to indeed choose not to be tracked whatsoever.

Nokia mocks Apple: "Siri got bigger"

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It's no surprise this old ad is gone from any official channels, since it promotes a smartphone line (Nokia Lumia) that isn't even around anymore, but it's a funny ad nonetheless.

It portrays Apple's Siri virtual assistant as one with very basic capabilities and robotic-sounding voice, while Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant (which was on Nokia Lumias at the time) is shown as capable of performing complex tasks and capable of natural-sounding speech.

Is Cortana a thing even on Windows nowadays? Well anyway, a funny, memorable ad this is. And I personally do have a soft spot for Lumia phones and the Windows Phone operating system, as one of my first smartphones was a Nokia Lumia. And to be fair, Cortana was indeed the most natural-sounding virtual assistant back in 2014.

Samsung throws a questionable jab at Apple users

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This is one old ad, but things haven't really changed over the last decade, have they? It shows Apple fans lined up to buy the newest iPhone, "only 9 hours away" from entering the store.

The ad has iPhone users saying things like "the battery looks sketchy" and funnily, "if it looks the same, how would people know I upgraded?"

Then, a cliché happens. Samsung users just happen to be standing nearby, with everyone on the iPhone line locking eyes on their Samsung phones and wowing.

A guy nearby lets the iPhone fans look at his Samsung phone, which at the time was definitely way bigger than an iPhone, and for that, the fans remark "This thing is huge!" and "It's magnificent!"

Corny, but hey, early 2010s corniness was funny! Back then – intentionally, now – maybe not.

Google trolls Apple with a taste of its own medicine

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Apple ads can feel pretty pretentious sometimes, in their effort to invoke an intellectual and emotional connection between an Apple product and its potential user, sometimes just coming off as odd.

In this troll ad, Google really nailed making fun of Apple for some of its ostentatious ways, featuring a suspiciously Jony Ive-sounding voice going deep into how perfect a circle is, how it has no beginning, no end, no end to the beginning… Yep…

Jony Ive was a project designer at Apple, by the way, who did indeed voice some Apple ads in the past. And fun fact: Apple has employee titles with "evangelist" in the name, such as "Technology Evangelist", in case you thought the fruit company wasn't pretentious.

Let me tell you, if someone at PhoneArena starts unironically calling themselves a "Phone Evangelist" or something like that, I'm out of here.

Samsung vs. Apple: Space zoom!

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As is tradition, when Samsung releases a new phone, it's eager to show us how much better it is than the iPhone. In this case we actually have several ads, but will focus on this one, because it features arguably the funniest comparison, even if unintentionally.

The ad shows how the $1200 Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G fares against the $1100 iPhone 12 Pro Max when it comes to camera zoom. To demonstrate the S21 Ultra's superiority, we see it zooming in on the Moon (100x digital zoom, that is), and capturing a clear-looking moon, while the iPhone's 12x digital zoom fails to capture more than a tiny, blurry white splotch.

Has anyone bought a phone for the zoom? And if so, please let me know in the comments what you're using it for. In any case – pretty impressive, S21 Ultra, now that's an ad that gets a point across quickly.

Tell us, did these ads work?

There we have them, some of the funniest attack ads by Google, Apple, Samsung, and Nokia for good measure, aimed at one another. Ads like these aren't easy to look back on, because as you can see, companies tend to remove them after a while, so let's appreciate them while we can.

And let us know, did attack ads ever actually manage to sway you to buy a product? Do they at least entertain you, or do you find them petty and mean-spirited? Because let's face it, attack ads are probably never going away.

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