Danny Glover Races Against the Clock in Samsung’s Epic Action Comedy About Time

Philosophy, physics ... and a fast-charging phone

Time is always running short, so Samsung is offering to help you save some.

In a fun new action-comedy ad, created by Wieden + Kennedy and starring Danny Glover, the tech giant claims its Galaxy S7 phones will help you shave precious minutes off the chore of charging … with dire consequences for the owners of mobile devices that take longer. 

While the Lethal Weapon star may be the headliner, his appearance comes relatively late in the minute-long ad. The spot opens with philosophical musings on the ever-turning cosmic clock, treating viewers to a montage of absurd scenes and quippy lines. 

"Time is the most valuable thing there is," says the voiceover. "Since the beginning of time, there never seemed to be enough of it." Meanwhile, a dinosaur laments the incoming meteor that will wipe out its entire species. 

The jokes continue. A woman finds her car trapped beneath a descending barricade. A pair of jewelry thieves miss their escape window. A rich old aristocrat tries to cryogenically freeze herself in hopes of a longer life in the future. 

Around 0:25, Glover appears for a Murtaugh-esque set piece, before quickly disappearing in what may be the ad's most brilliant moment—an apology for wasting 34 seconds of the audience's time with a commercial. That meta streak continues, to good effect. 

After his partner gets caught in a ridiculous taco-truck time-bomb explosion (he was stuck charging his phone, naturally), the perspective zooms back to Glover, at home in bed, reviewing his performance on his Samsung phone. "It's not my best work," he says to the woman lying next to him, shrugging in a who-cares-the-check-cleared way that sums up how people feel about many a celebrity endorsement, including those far more mediocre than this one. 

In all, it's a clever ad that can easily be forgiven for interrupting your life, if only because it knows it's doing it and is actually fun to watch. It shoehorns the product benefit into a much bigger concept, but does so with the just right kind of dumb panache. 

And should you choose to watch it, you'll never get that minute back. So you might as well enjoy it.


Date: Jun 20, 2016

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland

Client: Samsung Galaxy S7

Client Contact: Jesse Coulter

Client Contact: Kristin Harrer

Client Contact: John T. Field

Creative Director: Craig Allen

Creative Director: Jason Bagley

Copywriter: Derek Syznal

Art Director: Brandon Mugar

Art Director: Croix Gagnon

Executive Producer: Erika Madison

Producer: Shannon Worley

Account Director: Mimi Kim

Account Supervisor: Phil Williams

Executive Creative Director: Mark Fitzloff

Executive Creative Director: Joe Staples

Strategist: Renny Gleeson

Strategist: Bruno Frankel

Project Management: Laurie Holtz

Project Management: Amanda Rudolph

Business Affairs: Teresa Lutz

Business Affairs: Amber Lavender

Director of Integrated Production: Patty Brebner

Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker

Director: Stacy Wall

@GabrielBeltrone gabriel.beltrone@gmail.com Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.
Publish date: June 29, 2016 https://dev.adweek.com/creativity/danny-glover-races-against-clock-samsungs-epic-action-comedy-about-time-172304/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT