Welcome to the latest edition of my new weekly blog series, Steal This. Each week I’ll highlight a marketing activity that a company is using and suggest ways that you can model it and make it work for you. Last week’s topic was – Zappos VIP Service.

Today’s topic is: Samsung’s Attack Ads

Over the last year, we’ve all grown familiar with Samsung phones through their advertising campaign. If you could put yourself in the shoes of the ad team at Samsung before it all started, I wonder how you’d feel about the proposed direction of the campaign. Going directly at Apple, a company held in high regard by a large number of consumers, seemingly untouchable in many ways, was a big risk. Certainly there is a long list of companies who have advertised directly against a market leader and lost.

But now, looking back on the last year, knowing that Samsung’s market share in the smartphone industry has grown significantly, we can consider the ads a success. They have the fastest growing smartphone. They have not only taken a bite out of Apple’s market share, they have changed the way people look at Apple and the iPhone, opening the door for increase competition moving forward.

So how can you steal it?

Samsung’s success was helped in part because they launched a multi-billion dollar attack. You are not likely to have the same resources at your disposal. But you can “call out” a competitor in the same way they did.

Whose market are you after? Where is their weakness? How are you better?

Those are the questions you have to answer. Get into the mindset of a customer. The brilliance of the Samsung ads are that they “attack” Apple for some of the very same things that Apple fans love their products. They question things we’ve taken for granted. And make light of them.

As always, tell me what you think of this week’s idea and suggest other marketing programs to “Steal” in the comments below.