The Macalope: Jerkwatch


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What’s the big takeaway from 2013? Well, it has to be that Samsung has ushered us into the era of the smartwatch, right? The creepy, weirdo era of the smartwatch.

So, hopefully you’ve digested your holiday cheer, because if you watch this watch ad you may technicolor cheer. The Macalope will provide a synopsis, to spare you from having to rub mistletoe in your eyes. Two guys are on a ski lift with an attractive blonde woman between them. One is an oaf (who is inexplicably carrying his skis), fumbling with his smartphone while the other is suavely making time with the “pretty lady” (he actually calls her that) through the power of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.


Then it gets creepy. Oh, you thought it was already creepy? Oh, well, that’s because you have a sense of decency, unlike the people who made this ad. Galaxy Gear owner “Jack” (cough) follows “Aimee” down the slope and takes pictures and video of her with his watch without her knowing it. When he catches up to her she’s impressed instead of completely freaked out. Because … well, the Macalope’s not sure, because that’s not a real reaction a human being would have. He hopes it means that Aimee is actually a vampire and later devours Jack. (Oh, God, somebody please make that ending.)

Let’s be clear here: If you’re following someone you just met and are taking pictures and video of them, you’re stalking them. And Samsung thinks that’s “cool.”

It goes on in jaw-slackening awkwardness. Jack can get two glasses of wine at the fancy dance club where snowboarders in boots go to dance after snowboarding. (Has anyone in Samsung’s advertising department ever actually been in winter, let alone to a ski resort?) Unnamed doofus, meanwhile, drops a glass of wine because he’s also trying to hold his smartphone and apparently suffers from some kind of neurological disease.

Needless to say, there’s a “happy” ending, as Aimee succumbs to Jack’s charmless, technology-aided creepiness. Jack then mugs to the camera with his Gear as the viewer recites dark incantations in a vain attempt to get the earth to open up and swallow him whole.

It’s not pictured, but the Macalope imagines unnamed doofus dies in a fire because his huge ball-and-chain of a smartphone prevents him from getting out of the building.

As Wil Shipley put it:

… Samsung’s new “Goofus and Gallant” ad where Gallant is Ted Bundy

Laugh (or vomit) if you will, but it’s a simple fact that in the future those without smartwatches are simply not going to be able to successfully stalkquire mates. People who just have a smartphone will be revealed as the idiots they are. They will not reproduce and will be swept away in the new smartwatch-based world order. There’s no other way to say it.

It’s a good thing Samsung isn’t the world’s largest smartphone maker. They’ve gone from insulting iPhone users to insulting their own customers. Progress?

For all the blazzzrozzleflozzle about the Genius ads last year, the horrified reaction this year that the company would produce an image ad, and the snorting indignation that Apple’s holiday ad was about isolating yourself, Apple would never in a million years—and a million alternate realities—make an ad so creeptastically glorifying the stalking of women.

On the other hand, maybe Samsung knows the Gear is a flop and is poisoning the well for smartwatches by associating them with the worst kind of person. Makes about as much sense as honestly thinking this ad makes your product look good.

(Programming note: the Macalope needs a break after this one. He hopes your New Year is Samsung-ad-free and he’ll see you in 2014.)

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