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Did Michael Bay Hurt or Help Samsung This Week?

Michael Bay went on TMZ to talk about his trouble at Samsung's CES keynote. Source: TMZ.

Do you remember what Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) announced during this week's Consumer Electronics Show? My guess is no, if only because I don't, and I was in the audience when film director Michael Bay tripped over his lines and walked off stage. What went wrong? Here's what Bay told TMZ:

Listen, It was a very human moment, OK? I've gone on stage a couple of hundred times in my life ... I was about to talk about some very technical jargon, and unfortunately, I jumped the line, which means I started first. It was one of those things where my line set his line up and vice versa.

So it was a mistake. One he apologized for on his blog, which means he now gets to go back to the business of finishing Transformers: Age of Extinction, which is due in theaters next June.

But what about Samsung? CES is as competitive a trade show as you'll find, and this year, the Korean electronics giant is facing formidable competition in several areas. For example, Toshiba unveiled a new $279 Chromebook -- remember when Samsung was the go-to Chromebook supplier? -- while Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) touted its new S series curved 4K television screens to compete with the 105-inch Ultra HD television Bay was supposed to promote onstage.

There's plenty at stake. Digital TV Research projects that smart TVs -- big screens connected to the Internet in some way -- will more than double over the next five years to at least 759 million units by 2018. Samsung, at 26%, according to Strategy Analytics, accounted for the largest share of the Smart TV market in last year's Q1. Hiring Bay to present its newest Ultra HD sets at CES was supposed to add momentum.

Alas, it didn't happen. But in the long run, I doubt it matters. The bigger concern is whether industry support for 4K will be enough to drive demand for Samsung's new TVs. So far, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) has said season 2 of House of Cards will be shot and streamed in 4K., for its part, plans to shoot all its original shows in the format, while YouTube says it supports the format -- though we don't really know what that means in terms of its library.

Or to put it in terms Bay might be more comfortable with: As far as the development of this market goes, we're barely past the opening credits.

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  • Report this Comment On January 10, 2014, at 11:19 AM, mediajess wrote:

    Winner: Samsung. They got an unbelievable amount of press and we now know about their curved screen. We also know that it is connected to a celebrity.

    Loser: Michael Bay for walking off.

    Here are my full thoughts...

    A case of nerves can happen to anybody. The problem is, we feel if you are rich and successful and ... work in entertainment, suck it up and move forward.

    As a media trainer and presentation trainer I find that plenty of people are living in the world of their own thoughts. He probably had a swarm of uncomfortable thoughts going through his head. He was probably worried that everyone was staring at him.

    You know what the audience was thinking? "Just talk Michael." That's it. If he was boring they'd tune out and read their phones. If he was interesting, great bonus. Most people are in between.

    Michael Bay gave us something far more interesting, realizing his worst nightmare... failing on stage.

    The interviewer here did him no favors. He should have created a safety net for Michael Bay and led him towards answers they rehearsed as well as yes and no answers. At least Michael would have stayed put!

    What is the solution for the rest of us?

    Know this:

    -The audience / world is not staring at you to make you uncomfortable. They just want the "what's in it for me."

    -Don't be "me" focused (where the worry is.) Be "audience" focused. Think "What do they want? What will make this helpful for them, worthwhile, add value to their lives." The more you do that, the more the personal anxiety goes away.

    -Practice helps. It gives you something to fall back on.

    -Smile and laugh. We've all been there. We've all been in an uncomfortable place when something doesn't go our way. Smiling and laughing shows that you can laugh about it NOW and not just one day.

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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