Samsung Version of Apple’s Stores

Over the years, many have taken pot shots at Apple’s retail stores, ridiculing their design and alleged pretentiousness. “The Simpsons” TV series has spotlighted the stores, along with dozens of YouTube videos. But none of Apple’s competitors has taken on the stores until now. In 2011 Samsung used Apple’s retail chain as a vehicle to promote their latest smartphone. During the TV commercial they show an unknown competitor’s stores in various locations around the country, where new smartphone buyers have formed waiting lines. It’s clear in the commercial that the stores and smartphones were intended to be the iPhone and Apple.

The waiting line demographics are particularly odd, and so are the depictions of Apple stores in San Francisco and New York City. Inside the store, and behind iPhone app icons displayed in the store windows, employees in lime-green T-shirts wander around product display tables.

Watch the video for the dynamics of the waiting line dialog.

By the way, the New York location in the commercial, and probably other store sets, were videotaped along James Stewart Avenue in the Universal Studios (S. Calif.) back-lot. See the photos below as proof.

Bicycle fencing controls the iPhone purchase waiting line, in front of an architecturally interesting building. Large iPhone app icons in the windows block a view of the store's interior.

This fake Apple store looks like stainless steel, but doesn't quite have the shine of a real store. At this store the bicycle fencing is replaced with tape stanchions. Street signs in the TV commercial indicate the stores are at 1st Street and Main Street.

Everyone in the commercial appears to be from 25-35 years-old. In this still, you can see Apple store employees in the background wearing lime-green T-shirts, and tables with Apple-like products on display. By the way, this Denver store looks suspiciously like the New York store in the top photo.

The waiting line demographics in the TV commercial are much more homogeneous than a real Apple store waiting line: old, young, male, female, American and international.

This photo from a commercial photo shoot shows the exterior set on the Universal Studios lot where the Samsung TV commercial was taped. The far three arches are covered with glass to depict the Apple store.

This long view of the Universal Studios back-lot shows where the Samsung commercial was taped. The face of the building to the left (and mostly out of view) was used for the "New York" store scenes.

universal studios map

View Samsung’s Version of an Apple Store in a larger map