Samsung’s Pet Selfies Get A Purr-Fect Score


All new Galaxy Z Flip 4


In an age of division, one thing unites us as a species: taking selfies. Posing for your phone’s camera has become so ubiquitous it’s no wonder other animals are looking to get in on the act, as in Samsung’s charming new commercial for its Galaxy Z Flip 4.

A human phone owner uses the compact new flip-phone to take a pic of herself, then her family. But her pet cat has been observing the scene with interest, and as soon as the coast is clear gets in on the act, knocking the Flip 4 to the floor then posing away. A pair of neighboring dogs join in – but the three pets are caught red-pawed when the human owner returns.

It’s a straightforward concept – the phone that’s so fun and simple even your pets will want to use it! Samsung sell this idea well, with a wonderfully curious kitty as its lead animal actor and some lively humans providing plenty of between-ness and creating a human context for the animal antics.

The ad lands an Exceptional 5.8-Star score, one of 2022’s absolute highest Test Your Ad ratings. It also performs Exceptionally on short-term Spike rating and Brand Fluency. People know just who the ad is for, it’s motivating in the short-term and it’s primed to create long-term growth for Samsung. In short, it’s a winner on all three of our headline metrics.

That’s not totally down to the cat, and it’s also not the case that including a cat can elevate a poor ad. But animals can play a major part in helping a great commercial become exceptional. They’re one of the elements most likely to increase effectiveness, as System1’s Nick Williamson explains in his blog on using them well.

It’s not rocket science why animals work – people like them, and the liking rubs off onto the products they help advertise. But equally, to get the full benefit of using an animal in your ad you have to use it well. Samsung gets two things exactly right.

First, it tells a story about the animal, rather than just having it trot through the ad looking cute. Samsung’s cat has a goal, which gives it a personality and makes it into a character, not just an object in the ad.

Second, the story it tells has the brand at the centre. The Flip 4 is the other star of the ad – it’s shown as beautifully compact, sturdy, and exceptionally easy to use. So it’s no surprise the ad gets such huge Brand Fluency and short-term impact scores. It means Samsung avoids the trap of the cute animal creating positive emotions but overriding any product associations.

The result is an ad which is sweet and funny while putting its product message across with elegance. The numbers don’t lie: this is one of the best ads of the year.

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