Here are some quick facts:
1. "Royals," by 16-year-old New Zealand singer Lorde, is currently number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
2. "Royals" is about rejecting the ostentatious displays of materialism that dominate much of popular music and finding happiness in everyday teenage life. "As one of the few teenage voices in music that isn't like... Justin Bieber, I didn't want to glorify that perspective," Lorde told The Huffington Post in July. "This is just what it is and if this is you, too, then cool."
3. Samsung just used "Royals" in an ad called "The Developer" featuring the $300 Galaxy Note 3 ($700 unlocked!) and $300 Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
4. The ad features street urchins singing "Royals" while spying on soccer superstar Lionel Messi, one of the most highly paid soccer players in the world. Messi is walking around their slum wearing a sharply tailored suit. At the end, he uses the Note and the Gear to demolish an abandoned building, creating a soccer field onto which the urchins excitedly run. It is not clear if the urchins are excited to play soccer, or if they are simply hoping Messi will provide them with food and shelter.
5. According to the accompanying text, this is meant to be a "dramatic retelling of actual projects completed by the Messi Foundation." None of that is made clear in the ad itself.
6. Whatever the hell is going on, it is the exact opposite of the message contained in "Royals," and speaks to Samsung's intensely weird lack of self-awareness and almost complete inability to sense irony in any form whatsoever.
7. This, presented without comment, is Samsung's actual description of the ad.
Told from a child's perspective, "The Developer" is a musical short film by Samsung featuring Lionel Messi and the hit single "Royals" by Lorde.
A mysterious stranger arrives in a low income neighborhood and captures the imaginations of the children who live there. He is "The Developer" and the children view him with a deep suspicion.
Together with his Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear, the Developer effortlessly masterminds a secret construction project. Using the latest in Samsung technology including Action Memo, Pen Window, Scrapbook and hands-free call capability on the Gear, the Developer orchestrates and executes his mysterious mission.
The children watch in awe. They reflect on their current situation by singing Lorde's breakout hit "Royals," a song about overcoming her own humble beginnings.
The spot concludes with a beautiful new pitch that has been constructed in the toughest part of town. The Developer is revealed to be the world's reigning football star, Lionel Messi, fulfilling his personal mission to help under privileged children.
The events in this story are a dramatic retelling of actual projects completed by the Messi Foundation. The film was directed by Adam Hashemi.
8. There are no additional words.