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Samsung Fooled by 'Counterfeit' Supreme

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 12, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What's more embarrassing than a big-screen fail at a product launch?

You know the kind, like when Steve Jobs watched his giant iPhone meltdown in front of developers years ago? It became a YouTube favorite.

Rest in peace, Mr. Jobs, Samsung did you one better. The Apple rival unwittingly announced a fake partnership at a product launch in China.

Supreme Fail

Samsung said it had partnered with Supreme, a skateboard fashion brand, and then introduced the company's chief executive officer. He came up on stage, announced roll-out plans, and then left the building.

Turns out he wasn't the Supreme CEO; he was more like an Elvis impersonator. The original Supreme promptly set the record straight:

"Supreme is not working with Samsung, opening a flagship location in Beijing or participating in a Mercedes-Benz runway show," the company said. "These claims are blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization."

According to ArsTechnica, Samsung "didn't so much as partner with a fashion brand as it joined up with a brand that rips off a fashion brand." Caveat emptor: it's a trademark issue.

Promotions Gone Wrong

Like countless other promotions gone wrong, it's not rocket science. And even rocket scientists fail.

But there ought to be some rules. Maybe:

  • Don't invite imposters on stage
  • Do check your wireless and big-screen connections
  • Double-check your spelling, especially in foreign countries

For example, a primary school failed to double-check the spelling on an invitation for an Easter egg hunt. Officials asked attendees bring their dirty "Wellies," meaning Wellington Boots, to be washed up afterwards.

Instead, they asked kids to bring their "dirty willies." That was embarrassing in England, and possibly criminal in some countries.

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