With the ALS Ice Bucket challenge sweeping the globe, we’ve seen everybody and anybody take part. From politicians to company executives, sports stars to movie stars, TV presenters to that poor lad who got drowned before he could even get started. Who else has taken part? The Samsung Galaxy S5.

Who nominated a Samsung phone for the Ice Bucket Challenge? I would presume nobody. Rather than Samsung joining in on the viral trend to promote charities involved with motor neuron disease – or indeed any other charities – and have a bit of fun, they’ve blatantly taken advantage of this trend to advertise their product. Has it really worked?

They are hardly the first people to spot the opportunity to raise their public image and get involved, or use the Ice Bucket Challenge as a PR stunt. You can be sure that somewhere along the extravagant amount of Ice Bucket challenges, not everyone has jumped at the opportunity with purely the charity in mind. But, at the end of the day, with the money going to charity  – what’s the harm? It makes a fair point.

The difference? Samsung’s attempt to cleverly advertise their Galaxy S5 comes across as a petty attempt to piggyback off the success of this viral campaign in order to promote their product. Using charity as a PR tool can be a dangerous business, and Samsung are playing with fire with this one. Given the value of the Samsung brand, a video like this will hardly have much of an impact on the company. The nature of seemingly using the charity could leave some with a bad taste in their mouth, or it’s quite possible it’ll have a positive effect as it does a good job advertising their phone.

It begs the question, is the video ad in bad taste, or is it a clever advertisement? Or – is any publicity bad publicity?

Time for the angry mob to speak.

simpsons

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