In the world of high-tech, gadgets getting tagged as “uncool” can be a death sentence for a product. That’s why Samsung’s win over Apple in a UK court on Monday is being viewed as a defeat by some people.
Apple maintained in the case that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets infringed on the iPad design. Judge Colin Birss ruled against Apple, but he handed Apple some fodder. He found that Samsung’s tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool.”
Galaxy tablets uncool? No cut could be crueler. But it need not be. With the right spin, Samsung could turn Birss’s slight into a positive marketing campaign.
With some slick product shots that scream cool, Samsung could use tag lines like “It’s Cool to Be Uncool” or “Uncool Is the New Cool” or “How Cool Is Uncool?” or simply “Uncool” to sublimely reverse the judge’s verdict where it counts: in the minds of tablet shoppers.
Samsung has used courtroom victories to highlight its tablets before. After defeating Apple in the Australian courts, it launched a campaign declaring that its Galaxy Tab was “The Tablet Apple Tried to Stop.”
It has also shown that it’s capable of spinning Apple’s cool image against the American company. In its “Next Big Thing” campaign launched at the end of last year, Samsung mocked Apple diehards who lineup outside Apple stores for hours to be among the first to get a new product from the company.
So Birss’s “uncool” opinion of Samsung’s tablets isn’t the death sentence some commentators make it out to be. In fact, it could be the kernel of a successful marketing campaign for the Korean company. All Samsung has to do is embrace the uncool.
Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.