Samsung's naughty billboard causes a stir

2013-11-25 22:30
Cape Town – It’s either an absolutely brilliant marketing campaign or the most awkward spelling mistake ever.

Either way this Samsung billboard is getting a lot of attention.

The original idiom "the pen is mightier than the sword" is displayed on a Samsung billboard as "The penis, mightier than the finger".

The billboard was erected (sorry, not sorry) in Egypt, Pakistan, Kenya and France, Sowetan Live reported.

Samsung is yet to comment.


  • Michael Roberts - 2013-11-25 22:53

    Oh the pen is mightier than..

      Doep Briel - 2013-11-26 06:51

      A very effective advertising strategy. See how much publicity and attention it gets...

      Grant Montgomery - 2013-11-26 10:29

      Leenesh Singh, I googled it and the billboard is not a "fake". The billboard was as shown and Samsung are yet to respond.

      Paige Turner - 2013-11-26 12:15

      Leenesh Singh, don't spoil the joke ... just yet.

      Don Smart - 2013-11-26 12:47

      Even "..mightier than the S word" ! it is, Great piece of equipment the S pen. Works wonders, even predictive.

      Dmitri Dumas - 2013-11-26 14:51

      Any chance of putting this outside nKandla or does Zuma use an iphone ?

      Gerald Nchabeleng - 2013-11-26 22:16

      methinks it would have been more brilliant if they took out the spacing and the comma, as in thepenismightierthanthefinger

      Mike Bundy - 2013-11-26 22:55

      Definitely a photoshop fake

      Mzamo KaMqatshukwa Sokhela - 2013-11-27 16:26

      Thanks Samsung, I had something to laugh about today LOL!!!

      Kobus Erasmus - 2013-11-28 00:44

      Brilliant... Check out Did you know that there are 129 parties registered for the national elections... why? You can vote on the site so we can get an idea of what the election results are going to look like... for people with internet access of course.

  • Charmaine Ashikumar - 2013-11-25 23:00

    Just shows,not just punctuation but spacing can also completely alter the meaning of something. Pen is or

      Peter Woods - 2013-11-26 03:41

      Jacob zuma's pen is mightier then PW's finger

      Paige Turner - 2013-11-26 12:18

      Sigh of relief from the tiny group of astute, qualified copy editors. This highlights the fact that, aside from clever advertising and copywriting, smart copy editors are still essential.

  • Freddie Botha - 2013-11-25 23:10

    But either way, the billboard is rite....

      Moleboheng Mokoatle - 2013-11-26 10:00

      Now that you saying it. LOL!

      Sibusiso Shanedowski Mavimbela - 2013-11-26 10:02


      Bobby Rosewood - 2013-11-26 20:04

      makes me think of this old riddle...whats the difference between a BJ? Answer will be on my FB page tomorrow.

  • Ralph Long - 2013-11-25 23:23

    Spelling mistake, believe me. Koreans are notorious for this. Just walk around Seoul and you see it all the time. There are thousands of English speaking teachers here, but they refuse to consult them on English spelling and grammar for advertisements. You get the most bizarre grammar and spelling here.

  • ntokozolove.mathabela - 2013-11-25 23:39

    Either way, it's true.

      Moleboheng Mokoatle - 2013-11-26 10:03


  • ntokozolove.mathabela - 2013-11-25 23:39

    Either way, it's true.

  • Vivien Natasen - 2013-11-25 23:44

    Autocorrect playing tricks again...

      Hein Huyser - 2013-11-26 06:29

      Or dare I say, affirmative employee again. We see a lot of these lately

      Junior Mahlo - 2013-11-26 14:00

      @ Hein.... idiot

  • Dagga Movement - 2013-11-25 23:46

    Hahaha the penisinmymouth

  • John Butler - 2013-11-26 00:49

    My penis not working so im using my finger.

      WrefordWhite - 2013-11-26 16:26

      I've had that problem for years. Old age does that to you.

  • Terry Andrews - 2013-11-26 04:13

    Its not a mistake. Samsung wanted us to pay attention.

      Emma S-r - 2013-11-26 17:48

      Clearly not a spelling mistake... the grammar gives it away. There is no comma after "the pen is" so this was clearly intentional. The comma adds to the innuendo and comedy deliberately

  • khumbula.sibanda - 2013-11-26 04:34

    The company realy need attentipn

      Moleboheng Mokoatle - 2013-11-26 10:06

      Khumbula, you used your finger ne?

  • Sibanyoni Elvis Tsala - 2013-11-26 04:51

    Freedom of ....mmmm what?

  • Nkosincedile Matwa - 2013-11-26 05:35


  • Obakeng Molobi - 2013-11-26 05:45

    Ha ha. I bet lesbians would disagree with that.

      Obed Mazwi - 2013-11-26 07:51

      Haahaa naughty Obakeng

      Nicola Erasmus856 - 2013-11-26 08:36

      Not just lesbians, every woman knows the vibrator is even mightier than the pen is.:D

      Moleboheng Mokoatle - 2013-11-26 10:08

      Please exclude me from 'every women'! The vibrator doesn't cut it out for me. Thank you very much! Lmao

      Jim King - 2013-11-26 15:17

      ever seen a black chick buy a vibrator ? i think not

  • Raymond Kok - 2013-11-26 05:45


  • Christo Boshoff - 2013-11-26 05:58


      Rocco DeWet - 2013-11-27 04:44

      Shut up

  • Alan Govender - 2013-11-26 06:16

    Think Conrad Murray thought that too.Why else would he hold MJ's every night.

      Zuki Mbova - 2013-11-26 10:05

      Hahaaaa, Alan, please behave now.

  • Simphiwe Miti - 2013-11-26 07:15

    Lol! Samsung got a bit of explaining to do!

  • samblue - 2013-11-26 07:19

    Love the wordplay!

  • Mbengelwa Ngwenya - 2013-11-26 08:01

    A middle finger to that

  • Lyndatjie - 2013-11-26 08:19

    ha ha... awesome!

  • Bea Trix - 2013-11-26 08:50

    Haibo Mfondini - u r a hater and a homophobic one at that. Do u like it when people discriminate against you!!! I dont think so. Leave other people to live their lives the way they want it. Catch a wake up call and take your head out of where-ever it is planted at the moment.

  • Tawizee - 2013-11-26 08:52

    This erection will penetrate a large market.

      Zuki Mbova - 2013-11-26 10:05


      Moleboheng Mokoatle - 2013-11-26 10:10

      Tawizee; Samsung can do with some of your lingo. Great word play!

  • Lesley Motsoare - 2013-11-26 08:56

    LOL beside, it still make sense and a true fact thou.

  • Thabang Bonang - 2013-11-26 09:11

    My penis BIG and black. Oops I meant my pen is BIG(brand) and black in writing.

      Moleboheng Mokoatle - 2013-11-26 10:11

      The brand name is BIC Thabs...LOL

      ThabangBonang - 2013-11-26 15:18


  • Mike Bundy - 2013-11-26 09:43

    Photoshop fake

  • Dino Charalambous - 2013-11-26 10:16

    maybe what they're getting at is, if the ad text was done using the galaxy note pen, it would have come out better than being typed out?

  • Rob Vine - 2013-11-26 11:45

    I think it is great a bit of humour with all the rubbish around and easy to explain to the little ones if they ever notice. Keep it up Samsung Rob Vine

  • Regina Nkogatse - 2013-11-26 12:26

    Nevertheless it's still doesn't make any sense to me,how does a penis has anything to do with sumsung brands,i still fail to understand the context of this add really.penis vs a finger lol

      Sydney Albertus Daniel - 2013-11-26 14:23

      Not only doesn't it make sense Regina, it's sick. Rob Vine: I don't want to explain it to the little ones. Sick advertising...I'll avoid Samsung from now on.

      Obed Mazwi - 2013-11-27 05:04

      Regina you shud know the penis is better than the finger mos...

  • Nathanial Edwards - 2013-11-26 12:35


  • Barbara Foster - 2013-11-26 12:36

    People have no sense of humour these days....I know of many crimes that go unnoticed yet a billboard gets so much attention...the power of advertising!

  • Jp van der Wath - 2013-11-26 12:50


  • Mervyn Jacobs - 2013-11-26 12:52

    Spell check gone wrong! Lol

  • Andrew Nkoenyane - 2013-11-26 13:30

    only with a condom

  • Rob Martin - 2013-11-26 13:45

    Great humor.

      Sydney Albertus Daniel - 2013-11-26 14:13

      Just on principle, Samsung has lost my support. Can't we have clean advertising Samsung?

  • Farida James - 2013-11-26 14:22

    Lmga, this can be nothing but a mistake. It doesnt even make any sense in relation to phones, unless you wanna google porn on your samsung galaxy.

  • Alex Hulley - 2013-11-26 14:31

    i believe it was on purpose - look at the punctuation: if they meant to write " the pen is mightier than the finger " there would be no comma after is..... but there is read it as intended with comma - The Penis...... Mightier than the finger

  • Israel - 2013-11-26 14:36


  • Mathabi Moshoaila - 2013-11-26 14:46

    this is just a marketing tool, Samsung is selling its name

  • WrefordWhite - 2013-11-26 15:12

    A play on a joke first appearing in Playboy in the late 60's. Not that RSA citizens would know that!

  • thozi - 2013-11-26 15:26

    Just a genius at work - no mistake!

  • Jana Jacobs - 2013-11-26 15:28

    I think is very clever - not just in the amount of publicity that it has generated but also how it demonstrates how easy it is to make a mistake with your finger. (I have come to hate typing on my smartphone!!) Also if it was a typo then I dont think the comma would've been there...just a thought

      Loyiso Victor Mahlakahlaka - 2013-11-26 18:50

      So are you suggesting that a penis is a better tool to use than the finger???

  • Hosia Modiga - 2013-11-26 15:31

    will this translate into sales i wonder???

  • Caiphus Nthambeleni - 2013-11-26 15:49

    When you do marketing is all about getting people's attention which on this case worked brilliantly. well done Samsung- people will talk about and know about Samsung...

  • Simphiwe Dunjana - 2013-11-26 16:19

    brilliant marketing strategy by Samsung Marketing department Marketing (advertising) is supposed and meant to generate positive feedback and talk by the buying public.

  • Spartacus - 2013-11-26 17:10

    Unless it doesn't get hard of course ... LOL

  • Emma S-r - 2013-11-26 17:47

    Not a spelling mistake... the grammar gives it away. There is no comma after "the pen is" so this was clearly intentional. The comma adds to the innuendo and comedy deliberately

  • Craig Ntsiru Mukhuba - 2013-11-26 18:03

    Nothing wrong with this ad..tongue in cheek and certainly aimed at stirring controversy and in the process putting the brand in the forefront of public debate, good for awareness. big up for Chiel...thought provoking brand communication

  • Eli Esau - 2013-11-26 20:06

    .......eish, it seems like Samsung clearly did not use their Galaxy Note to create the ad, as the auto correct did not kick in ........ :-)

  • Elizabeth Sambridge - 2013-11-26 21:02

    Samsung “penis billboard” fake The photos of a Samsung billboard doing the rounds online in which the phrase “The pen is mightier than the finger” is misspelled as “The penis, mightier than the finger”, are fake, a Samsung spokesperson has told MyBroadband. Articles on both Channel24 and Sowetan...

      Mike Bundy - 2013-11-26 22:58

      Told ya