From Meow to Wow with Samsung
More Wow than Ever
We’re always keen at System1 to see brands shake up their category codes and pick the entertaining over the expected. In the world of tech, Samsung does that more often than most. They’ve got a particular knack of making ads starring amusing animals, going right back to their award-winning 2017 “Ostrich” ad, in which VR goggles showed the flightless bird what it had been missing.
So it’s great to see Samsung and agency BBH Singapore make a new ad in that vein, this time starring a somewhat hard-to-please cat. Its owner hears the cat make a noise that’s very like “Wow!”, and spends the rest of the ad trying to recapture that “Wow!” feeling for his pet. Plants, animals, a parade, and even scuba-diving – none of them raise more than a twitch of the whiskers. But the Samsung NEO QLED 8k TV succeeds in turning that meow into “Wow”.
It’s a smart way for a technology brand to advertise. Every tech brand likes to claim its products have the Wow factor – that feeling of excitement at new features, specs, and user experiences. The truth is, though, the actual gains are often incremental. There aren’t really game-changing new features with every new release. And while tech upgrades do feel extremely cool, that gradual improvement is a tough thing to make visually exciting.
Creating a talking cat to make that excitement feel tangible and fun is a brilliant move on Samsung’s part. By the time the tech shows up in the second half of the ad you’re really rooting for the owner to get a win and bring that “Wow” feeling back. Which makes it more convincing – and happier – when it does just that.
With 4.3-Stars the ad is Samsung’s top scoring on the Test Your Ad database, the second-highest TV hardware ad we’ve tested. It also lands an Exceptional short-term Spike Rating. It’s particularly impressive that an ad this fun and idiosyncratic is the hero ad in a global campaign – “More Wow Than Ever” promises an array of celebrities, influencers and activations, and it’s a very good sign that Samsung have started with something so charming.
The lesson for tech marketers (and many others) is a simple one. Sure, you want your audience to know about and see those new features and impressive product specs. But the way to get them to care may be through showing, not telling. And it turns out a quirky ad with a talking cat is a wonderful way to entertain for commercial gain.