Viewers following Samsung’s Unpacked event in New York City this morning were treated to an hourlong theatre-style spectacle complete with setpiece performances, make-believe scenes and even a sprinkle of theatre in-jokes – a presentation style which seemed appropriate given the venue.
Reaction on Twitter was predictably varied between entertainment, amusement and embarrassment – a number of hashtags trending during the show like the expected #SamsungUnpacked to #MusicalShow (despite a lack of actual musical numbers) and #EmbarrassedBySamsung.
One of the more high-profile negative reactions to the event was this one, dropped by HTC just over halfway through the show:
— HTC (@htc) March 14, 2013
What followed was a barrage of retweets of HTC’s message, with HTC retweeting negative opinions of Samsung’s show or the Galaxy S 4 phone, and users who talked up the HTC One over its newfound competition.
In an interview with CNET after the show, HTC President Jason MacKenzie said “I went from laughing to actually feeling embarrassed at some of the acting”.
It’s not clear precisely what HTC hopes to gain from this, other than attention. It’s possible they see this as a little bit of retaliation against Samsung, who seemingly upstaged the HTC One launch by announcing the date of the Unpacked event the day before. Their approach certainly frustrated and annoyed a number of prominent figures in the industry – including our own Buzz Moody.
I can’t wait for this to blow up in @htc face, since they’re being smartasses.
— Buzz Moody (@BuzzMoody) March 15, 2013
— BitGadget (@BitGadget) March 15, 2013
I know HTC are trying to keep morale up and all that, but the whole badmouthing the competition thing doesn’t really do it for me.
— Paul O’Brien (@PaulOBrien) March 15, 2013
Was this good marketing, or poor form? Tell us your thoughts the comments section.