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back to article Samsung to spend ENTIRE budget of London 2012 OLYMPICS... on ADS

Samsung is preparing to embark upon a mammoth advertising campaign which will see it spend a whopping $14bn (£8.57bn) this year. To put that into perspective, that is roughly the amount it cost the UK to stage the entire London Olympics in 2012 – including stadiums, venues, infrastructure and the cash it handed to G4S. The …

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Anonymous Coward

If their products are so great why spend so much on advertising?

It's pretty obvious that their dull blank plastic products need to be pushed hard to get people to buy them.

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That's not remotely correct. No one is immune to marketing, even if you don't know where you fit in on the chain. The fact you've included a swipe at a particular company's offerings indicates you are not only among the more inquisitive customer, you are highly desirable as an unpaid evangelist for the product(s) of your choosing.

You've been exposed to marketing efforts from at least two companies and have chosen the product you liked best. The fact you were exposed to the efforts of more than one company indicates everyone's marketing was successful, regardless of the option you chose. The final purchase decision is sales, not marketing so someone's sales strategy didn't pan out, but everyone's marketing succeeded.

None of that to say you're weak minded or easily influenced, but to attempt to place yourself out of the reach of marketing is foolish. You're getting messages but failure to acknowledge them makes you more open to efforts which you don't recognize as marketing.

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"It's pretty obvious that their dull blank plastic products need to be pushed hard to get people to buy them."

Actually, the advertising is part of a cost problem that Samsing have but won't address. The S4 is (for most people) an attractive piece of kit, But Samsung aren't Apple, and the disappointing sales reflect the fact that the S4 is hugely overpriced in the market. Putting Samsung's costs up with a civilisation ending burst of advertising won't solve that, it'll make things worse. I'd say we're at the boundary of the late Samsungian, and moving into the Googgilian, and the dinosaurs like HTCosaurus and S4-rex may have had their day.

Which is a bit worrying, because in such existential crises, it is generally the rat-like forms that inherit the earth. Windows Phone may be the future.

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Meh

superbrands...

there was an iplayer program a few years ago about superbrand. Alex someone?

Anyway, showing children (<5?) brands, it was very clear that certain sport goods were firmly ingrained, where as perceived "adult" goods were not.

Marketing is the overhead of being a big company, since for every %1 of market share, it becomes exponentially(polynomial?) more difficult to get the next %1 as we approach total saturation.

I am reminded in the Red Dwarf books about the detonating supernovae advertising to plaster "a certain carbonated beverage across the sky for a decades"....

It is the "refinement of advertising memes" that are so fiercely cultivated to be able to "divide and conquer" the buying public...

P.

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Not immune to marketing?

I beg to differ. The more something is marketed at me, the less likely I'm going to buy it.

I'm immune to being persuaded/brainwashed to buy a certain product. If anything, I'll buy a competitors one instead.

As for Samsung, after some really bad experiences with 3 of their 1TB HDD's going tits up in rapid succession they are on my 'do not touch with a bargepole' list.

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Not necessarily

You've been exposed to marketing efforts from at least two companies and have chosen the product you liked best. The fact you were exposed to the efforts of more than one company indicates everyone's marketing was successful, regardless of the option you chose. The final purchase decision is sales, not marketing so someone's sales strategy didn't pan out, but everyone's marketing succeeded.

None of that to say you're weak minded or easily influenced, but to attempt to place yourself out of the reach of marketing is foolish. You're getting messages but failure to acknowledge them makes you more open to efforts which you don't recognize as marketing.

While I know what you mean and broadly agree, you've forgotten a sub-set or two:

1) the sub-set of people who see the advertising, then go and have a butchers at a product in the shops and/or read reviews in a variety of forums and decide it isn't for them for various reasons (in my own, personal case, feeling the build quality of my aunt's S3, deciding it felt like a shoddy piece of plastic that wouldn't last the rigours of a 24-month phone contract, and looking for something else);

2) the sub-set of people who have previously owned Samsung mobile kit and were disappointed by the quality, support, features, software bloat, et al.

Both are likely to be skeptical of a huge marketing campaign. Those that shout loudest frequently have the least worth listening to.

Samsung have tried to develop a 'premium' line, without doing anything in particular to make it 'premium' in any way, and having successfully managed to do so, have then diluted it by attaching that premium brand to anything they think will tolerate it.

While I'm impressed by Samsung's product cycle, I'm less impressed by the overall quality of the product. Personally, I'd prefer a less rapid product cycle with more time given over the build quality and development of features other than gimmicks. Their marketing campaign won't do a damned thing to change my mind otherwise.

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"If their products are so great why spend so much on advertising?"

Simple, they are making the mistake of thinking you can buy class.

Same reasoning led them to think that by sending researchers to study the queues outside Apple stores, they can learn how they can generate the same enthusiasm for their own product launches.

Hint to Samsung: It has nothing to do with the queues, which are the result, it begins at the root of company culture and has to be cultivated from the inside out. It can't be purchased.

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Re: Not necessarily

Why would they be skeptical? You've been affected by a major marketing campaign and now you're furthering that same campaign. Skeptisim itself hasn't been benificial...

If you're reading product reviews you are participating in the marketing campaigns and your opinion has already been swayed by what you perceive are Samsung product issues. You've already compared at least one other thing to Samsung and now you're online talking up the advantages of not using Samsung. You may think you're doing it independently but you've been convinced to become so emotionally invested in a product that you'll participate in the marketing and do your part to turn other skeptics.

You did exactly what you were supposed to do. What the marketing campaign intended for you to do from the beginning. All the tools were handed to you and you've used them to their intended effect. It's tricky stuff. As the subject of this article billions and billions of dollars are spent every year figuring out how to get people to do what you want but feel like they arrived at the decision themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

It is more than remotely correct - it's bang on. People know and want iPhones so Apple have to spend relatively little marketing them - in comparison Samsung have to use marketing to ram it down consumers throats to try and stand out against Motorola, Sony, HTC and many, many others.

They even go and try and install a lot of their own cr@pware to try and differentiate their handsets and are making accessories that only work with their handsets - problem is the bloat of extra software can often make the phone itself worse.

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Why do you think people know and want iPhones? Some kind of dormant biological mechanism that Apple products activate?

Apple spend a pretty penny on marketing too. They're just more targeted in their efforts, they have to be. There's nothing in their catalog at the price points where Samsung has tons of other products. Samsung has a far, far broader user base and to appeal to that massive section of people of course they're going to have to spend more. Granted they are spending a lot more, but that won't be sustained.

No one strategy is better than the other, they're two different ways to accomplish the same ends. Just like their business models.

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@Don Jefe

Apple spend about 1/14th the amount Samsung spend on marketing.

What you have written sounds more like an excuse, and gets nowhere near explaining that degree of difference. The real reason is far more simple. Being the best is it's own advert. When you play football for Brazil, you have no trouble featuring on the first page of the sports news.

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Re: Not necessarily @ Don

Sorry, my friend, but this determinist shit you are spouting is really just a load of nonsense. You are falling for the ad industry's tricks whereby anything that makes a person buy a thing is advertising. Independent reviews, word-of-mouth, and personal experience are not "advertising" in any real sense of the word. Just giving facts isn't advertising, either (comparing spec sheet A with spec sheet B). Buying a product because it meets the articulated needs of the buyer isn't advertising, either.

Please, don't make out the marketing industry as having special insight into humanity - they don't, but you have unfortunately bought into their self-advertisement.

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To put it into perspective ...

... let's compare it to Apple. Their ad spend comes way below Microsoft who are way below Samsung. And those are old stats from before the announcement of Samsung's $14billion spend. And yet people say Apple are all about marketing.

See http://www.asymco.com/2013/11/04/do-ads-work-the-ad-budgets-of-various-companies/

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Re: To put it into perspective ...

The difference is that apple gets other people to do its advertising for it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To put it into perspective ...

Yeah, lets: the entire UK basic science research budget (EPSRC+NERC) is about £1.2bn a year, which is (I think) about the same as the UK catfood spend.

No doubt other amusing comparisons suggest themselves, depending on personal biases..

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Coat

Re: To put it into perspective ...

Conclusion: Researchers have a hell of a lot of cats.

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Re: To put it into perspective ...

Put another way, they are spending the equivalent of the entire gross domestic product of Jamaica (or Iceland) on adverts. Or the arms budget of Israel, or the UK foreign aid budget.

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Re: To put it into perspective ...

The difference is that other people /want/ to do Apple's advertising for them.

Less so for Samsung, which is why they are spending bucket loads of money.

Don't underestimate how difficult it is to buy brand loyalty.

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Re: To put it into perspective ...

Put another way, they are spending the equivalent of the entire gross domestic product of Jamaica (or Iceland) on adverts. Or the arms budget of Israel, or the UK foreign aid budget.

Well done your subliminal advertising has worked. I want fifteen pints of Red Stripe now

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Re: apple gets other people to do its advertising for it.

So does Samsung - but they have to pay them

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Branding

Why not take a leaf from fellow industry giants and use its branding power properly. A Lexus may well be a Toyota but it doesn't have Toyota written all over it because that would lower its perceived value. In contrast Samsung will write Galaxy on pretty much any piece of crap to hang on the coat tails of is premium Galaxy S line. This damages the value of the Galaxy moniker, although it can't help that they are are all flimsy feeling bits of plastic with naff gimmicky features.

Such high spending seems more than a little excessive, to some extent such a prominent players products should speak for themselves. Just how high did they set their targets? did they really think that having so rapidly taken the top step, it's still powerful and technically capable rivals would not fight back and take at least some of the pie?

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Re: Branding

The problem isn't Samsung being bad at branding, it's Google being better at branding. People know Android, not Samsung Galaxy S4 so much. Everybody and anybody who sells an Android based device benefits from Google's sideways data collection campaign as well as the mega dollars Samsung has to spend to change the situation.

Google could care less who is using Android, as long as it's being used. It's a fairly weird situation which you don't see very often where a secondary product is better known than the primary. Almost like people buying a set of Michelin tires and they just happen to have a Lexus attached to them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Branding

Samsung have made a great mistake with at least one model with a 'Galaxy' brand and that's the Galaxy Mini.

Still running Android 2.3 plus a Faceblock APP that you can't remove etc etc etc

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Re: Branding

I agree with you I got an advert on facebook before (I know I know) from a company I won't name (lets just say they sell carphones from a pretty big warehouse) and they were advertising a 'Samsung Galaxy Fame' and a free Samsung 7 inch galaxy tablet for only 16 quid a month and you didn't have to pay an upfront cost.

Fantastic I thought then it hit me. I've seen loads of promotions where Samsung are literally giving away these tablets and I've never came across anyone who owns a Galaxy tablet. The Galaxy Fame didn't look that decent too from what I could make out the screen looked on a par with an iPhone 3G, but for 16 quid a month for both someone will get a fantastic deal, but it did make me think that they are spreading this Galaxy line far too thin.

I went with the Galaxy S4 last time round purely because it was the phone that fitted all my needs rather than marketing hype. I must admit it is my first Galaxy phone and it will be my last. After going from a Nexus 4 to this the Android 'experience' is shocking. I just wish I could be bothered to back it all up and put the Google Play Edition ROM on it

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Devil

'The South Korean firm was also slammed after contestants on reality talent show The X Factor were shown repeatedly using its products during an ad campaign it ran on ITV.'

And quite rightly so. You never see Apple products being used on television programmes.

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Anonymous Coward

Marketing's fifth column

It just occurred to me that thanks to the combination of Adblock+, NoScript, email filtering, PVR/DVD, Usenet and the removal of all ITV channels from the TV 'favourites' list, the only exposure I get to ads these days is either in print (rare), shops or on the street. Yet thanks to articles like this, the endless stream of fluff pieces that fill blogs and big media where the news used to be (and of course comment astroturfing sufficient in scope and lushness to make greater Birmingham green and pleasant again), I probably know as much about the bloody S4 as my niece, whose spare time seems to be indecently occupied in covetous pre christmas research.

A nice little plugin that flagged this crap with a warning before you get to it (or just had a 'seek & destroy' mode for the authors) would go a long way toward making t'interwebs more readable, although I do wonder if there'd be much left if you nerfed all the product discussions. Didn't there used to be other things to discuss beyond products and the profitability/spending habits of large corporations? Or was that just a pleasant dream?

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Anonymous Coward

Better uses...

I have a Galaxy S3. In terms of hardware features it's great. As the remaining phone maker that puts a removable battery and a MicroSD slot in their smartphones, Samsung is a special kind of company. But the Galaxy S3 also occasionally decides it doesn't want to play music without skipping, can't consistently show playing song titles via AVRCP, and can't accept voice control when connected to my car deck as a phone over Bluetooth, all things tha my pre-Siri iPod Touch does fine. I can't help but imagine that some of those billions might be better spent on addressing software issues, with the hope of maybe convincing existing Samsung users to maybe come back one day.

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Stop

Couldn't they just spend the 14 billion Dollars on.

...knocking up their own Operating System and binning Android (Google).

Really would like to see someone chop the legs of these American

"Middlemen"...so to speak.....maybe ARM has got one tucked away?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Couldn't they just spend the 14 billion Dollars on.

That would just be suicide - Android has a lot of apps - so what they should start their own OS from scratch with zero apps and then zero customers. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place - they are selling pretty standard / cheap phones for a lot of money as people see them as second to Apple. But no Apple iOS, service or support or residual values.

People buy Galaxy phones / tablets as they are very heavily marketed and subsidised - Samsung have tried to differentiate the phones but people are or will realise they are just another Android phone (nothing wrong in that - apart from Samsung). When you can buy similar phones from companies like HTC, Sony, Motorola etc. for a lot less cash why buy Samsung. At least Apple can trade on their customer loyalty, great support, premium quality, security etc.

The experience of a vanilla Android phone is almost certainly better than a Samsung with bloatware - so in a desperate attempt to differentiate they actually make the product worse for their users. And why should those users have any loyalty when they can buy any other better / cheaper Android phone next time?

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Re: Couldn't they just spend the 14 billion Dollars on.

Rolling your own OS is insanity if somebody else already has one that works well and is popular. Reinventing the wheel has killed more software companies than shoddy business plans and fancy office furniture ever has. It's simply bad business to take a tool that can be customized to fit your needs and toss it out.

The marketing also carries a greater direct return for a company like Samsung. They've got an enormous product catalog outside of mobile phones and every ad with their name on it increases the strength of their name and increases the likelihood you'll buy products in their other categories.

The fundamental difference between Samsung and other mobile phone manufacturers is usually overlooked in these discussions. Samsung is a titan in electronics and phones are just one category they're involved in. It's also one of their lowest profit per unit categories. Most other mobile phone manufacturers are fairly focused in their mission and will not realize the same marketing benefits a hugely diversified company like Samsung will. Every dollar spent advertising a Galaxy S4 is also a dollar spent on the thousands of other products they offer. You can't compare Samsung marketing strategies to those of a Googlrola or Apple or Nokia, they're vastly different things.

Spending the money on marketing on top of an already well received OS is going to be far more effective than creating their own and still having the costs of marketing to deal with.

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Re: Couldn't they just spend the 14 billion Dollars on.

Hi, both yourself, Mr Jefe and Mr Anon, make excellent points, which i can't really

argue with. This is an enormous amount of cash to fritter away on an advertising

campaign and my comment was no more than an idle dream....on reflection

maybe if they donated all that money, as it seems they are eager to part with it, to

the victims of the Typhoon disaster in the Philippines then they would get the

Global publicity they covet without any of it ending up in the offshore Bank accounts

of Advertising exec's....although, this is probably just an idle dream too.

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Anonymous Coward

The difference is service - I've owned both Samsung and Apple and can say my experience was Samsung was not a great one so would I buy again - probably not. Experience with Apple was totally different - very helpful and quickly fixed - much less time wasted - so would I buy again - definitely.

Does not matter how much Samsung spend on ads and marketing to me.

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Anonymous Coward

And how much next year? Pressing harder on the gas but sales dropping off due to competition from equally good or better cheaper Android phones. People buy Apple because they 'want' the phone - people buy Samsung because they get offered a killer deal but fast forward 18 months and next phone and those same users would buy HTC, Sony or Lenovo etc.

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Blithering idiots the lot of you

Samsung are top of the cell phone sales list and you say they need better ads? dont make me laugh this 14 billion will be part of the push to Tizen

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Re: Blithering idiots the lot of you

Actually it was Samsung who said Samsung needed better ads. I'm going to give Samsung the benefit of the doubt and go with Samsung's opinion on the matter.

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YM

Once I bought Samsung Galaxy S i9000 and have no intention to buy their stuff anymore. That was the best phone that times hardware-wise (the fastest CPU, etc), but they somehow managed to spoil it with crappy firmware and idiotic choice of FS, that slows down IO operations. So, it was horribly lagging.

And recently I heard they did a firmware that makes S III lagging too. Samsung ≡ Lags. No buy.

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Samsung ads are hilariously twee as it is, so spending 14bn really isn't going to shift those of us who don't have a high opinion of their products as it is. Their typical ad usually involves puppy with a balloon and a 'perfect' smiling airbrushed couple sitting on a blanket in the middle of a 'perfect' green field, which is enough to make you blow your cookies, with some wishy-washy catch phrase like 'Live you life more fulfilled' or something equally bile-inducing.

Can you guess yet that I'm not a fan?

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