Most technology demos start off by a well spoken executive talking about how great in general his new device is, because it’s going to give him that much bigger boat/jet/whatever. Then, a photogenic engineer comes on and tells you about some stuff, followed by another photogenic engineer, etc. Samsung brought actual actors to the stage to not only tell you what their new phone did, but also to show you what their new phone did. Actors reenacted little scenes on a stage where Samsung’s new and innovative software rode in to save the day during a tap dance recital, a backpacking trip to Europe and a girl’s night out in Florida, amongst other places.
The criticisms on twitter ranged from “WTF” to “sexist”. Like so many Windows Phone rap videos, I frankly had trouble getting past just how bad it was to probe for any deeper messages or symbolism. But I do appreciate what Samsung was trying to do. Remember, Samsung gathered an audience to watch this in chilly Times Square, to say nothing of the millions watching online. They were trying to entertain, and bless them for it. But they really did fail miserably.
For the most part, I blame the writing. The script came off as if a bunch of technical writers had written it. The problem with this is, is technical writers don’t know how to write a play. This is why they’re technical writers. The strained dialog and horrible horrible (did I mention horrible?) jokes were evidence that whoever wrote this script had no sense of anything beyond Megapixels and SD Slots.
But the real villain of the night was our host and MC, Will Chase. If you missed the event, imagine a used car salesman and a game show host have a baby. Now imagine you want to punch that baby in the face. That’s your host, Will Chase. The guy is just smarmy with a side of smarm.
Ironically yet appropriately, the only bright spot of the whole production came form Ryan Biden, Director of Product Marketing who was there to tell us all about the specifications and technical details of the phone. Imagine someone at a technology show actually talking about technology. Crazy I know.
At the end of the day, Samsung tried to entertain the masses, and missed. There is a reason that trade shows are the way they are. They work. They get the message across. You’re welcome to try and entertain as well, but for the love of Pete, know your audience, hire writers from the entertainment industry, and if it’s not too much trouble, hit Will in the face with a crescent wrench.