Samsung Hires 'Actors' To Pretend To Be Happy Galaxy Tab Testers?

from the calling-the-ftc... dept

I'm still waiting for Android tablet computers to catch up to the iPad in terms of usefulness, and I'm guessing there's probably still another year or so to go (if the phone market is any predictor). Samsung, of course, has been leading the push for Android-based tablets and they made some news with the launch of its latest version of the Galaxy tab at CTIA. Indeed, the new devices do look pretty neat. But why spoil genuine appreciation of the device when you can hire actors to pretend to like the device... and then claim to the world that they're not actors at all? That appears to be exactly what Samsung did. Much of the launch focused on these interviews with three "regular folks" from "different backgrounds" who were given a chance to test out these new tablets and then be interviewed about them. You can see the full launch video here, and the "interviews" start around the 8 min mark.
Intrepid blogger Harry McCracken thought the interviews felt a bit off... and a bit too full of corporate marketing-speak. So he decided to go searching for "freelance travel writer Joan Hess, independent filmmaker Karl Shefelman, and leading real estate CEO Joseph Kolinksi." And he ran into some difficulties:
I was curious to learn more about them. So I Googled around and couldn’t find any references to a travel-writing Joan Hess (one with, as she said, a following on Twitter) or a real-estate CEO Joseph Kolinski.

I did notice, however, that freelance travel writer Joan Hess bears a striking resemblance to New York actress Joan Hess:

And that real estate CEO Joseph Kolinski could be New York actor Joseph Kolinksi's twin brother:

Filmmaker Karl Shefelman, on the other hand, looks a lot like... filmmaker Karl Shefelman. Who works for a New York production company. One that's done work for Samsung.

Of course, some people will claim that this is standard operating procedure and that everyone should assume that anyone in such a video is clearly an actor, rather than a real person speaking off the cuff. But this is a press launch event and the clear implication by Samsung officials is that these were real people and real interviews. If the product really is as great as they say, why not actually trust real people to say that, rather than hiring actors?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: actors, galaxy, tablets
Companies: samsung

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. icon
    misterdoug (profile), 26 Mar 2011 @ 1:17am

    Intrepid blogger Harry McCracken thought the interviews felt a bit off... and a bit too full of corporate marketing-speak.

    I know the feeling... kind of like listening to one down-home average American after another on Fox News saying the same things over and over. Just plain-talkin' grassroots folks speakin' their minds, right off the ol' teleprompter.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/ failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/ on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/ on line 8
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.