Samsung video’s message gets lost, pre-translation

The slow-talking actors in the ad apparently had to talk that way so they could be overdubbed in Korean. As for the histrionics …


Watch this three-minute video about Samsung’s solid-state 840 EVO hard drive. Notice anything weird?

Users on Reddit certainly did, dubbing the actors in the ad “possibly the world’s worst.” Everything about it seems odd, from the unrealistic reactions (“…What?”) to the exaggerated gestures and extremely slow speech.

The video unfortunately perpetuates a few ancient stereotypes about housewives, too. When the one woman in the video doesn’t know how to install a hard drive, she’s told it’s like playing with “little toy bricks.”

“How old is she, 5?” one commenter asked.

In light of Reddit’s mocking, Samsung made its version of the video private, but a mirrored version is at 22,000 views and counting.

Several Reddit commenters said the video seemed like an English-as-a-second-language instructional video, and it turns out they might be on to something. A commenter with the screen name Damienf1, who claims to be one of the actors, said the slow speaking is intentional, because the video will probably be dubbed into Korean. (Samsung’s headquarters is in Suwon, South Korea.)

He added:

They ask us to exaggerate, since many Korean people feel that’s how we “naturally” act (most people here are not very expressive). I’ve worked many jobs where I tried to act naturally only to be told by the director to act more “bright” (i.e., exaggerate). It’s how the director and client (in this case, Samsung), WANT us to act. The script is brutal; written by non-native English speakers.

That comment appears to have been deleted, presumably because Damienf1 would like to work for Samsung again. Another of his comments remains, though:

It seems bizarre, but if you understood the culture out here, you’d understand why they’re embarrassed and are trying to hide it.

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