Chinese tech firms often get a bad rep for stealing ideas from their Western counterparts, and, well, sometimes it’s deserved.
As part of its ongoing efforts to break into the American market, Chinese tech giant Huawei — the third biggest smartphone seller in the world after Samsung and Apple — has hired a familiar face: actor Justin Long, best known from the famous “Get a Mac” ad campaign. Long appeared in a first ad for Huawei which debuted at CES earlier this month (“The Interview”), with a second (“The Audition”) popping up on YouTube yesterday, and co-starring a Huawei MateBook running Windows 10:
The ads don’t make any direct references to Long’s previous work, but there are some not-so-subtle allusions. (“I have a tonne of experience in tech,” he says.) According to industry site Campaign, Huawei originally wanted Long to be more explicit about his “previous relationship with Apple,” but the actor and ad agency encouraged the company to tone it down. Probably a good idea considering some of the reactions on YouTube:
Although Huawei has overtaken Apple in smartphone sales in China (only for Huawei to later be leapfrogged by domestic rival Oppo), it still faces an uphill battle in America, where the iPhone has a solid 40 percent of the market. Huawei’s latest flagship device, the Mate 9, launched in the US earlier this year. The Mate 9 is a $600 device with a 5.9-inch display, 4,000 mAh battery, and 4GB of RAM. It’s also the first smartphone to come with Alexa pre-installed.