In an interview, a Samsung exec admitted that the anti-iPhone ad campaign was overall beneficial for the company by getting the discussion going and helping Samsung’s mobile brand to mature.
Talking to AdNews, Samsung Australia’s chief marketing officer Arno Lenior said that while the ads from the “The Next Big Thing Is Already Here” ad campaign weren’t necessarily the best, they were definitely successful at telling a “cheeky story,” signaling “Samsung’s coming of age as a brand:”
That really did mark quite a tipping point for us globally. We were able to tell a cheeky story – if you think about it, we’re a Korean company starting to really mess with the order of things.
We’ve been able to do some good things from that (campaign). The interesting thing about it from my perspective is that some of it is not the best work you’ve ever seen, some of it is the best work you’ve ever seen, but it’s getting people talking, that’s what I really love about it.
You’ve got fanboys after fanboys going, ‘You can’t put that out there’, and then the Samsung fans saying, ‘Yes, you can’, and they’re starting to have that conversation, which is brilliant. So that piece of content has been amazing for us, both globally and here in Australia.
In recent years, Samsung released a variety of anti-iPhone ads in which it made fun of Apple and iPhone users (see one such example from last year embedded below). While the policy of making fun of potential customers received some criticism, the ads became viral, getting millions of hits on YouTube – last year, the most watched tech ad was a Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 5 ad.
Unlike in previous years though, Samsung now appears to have dialed down its anti-iPhone campaign, with various of its recent ads focusing only on its new products rather than taking distinct hits at the competition.
On top of these ads, let’s not forget that Samsung spends a fortune every year – and growing – on marketing its mobile devices, which partly explains why the company is currently the top smartphone maker by volume.
At the same time, the company is investing in research and development – $11 billion in 2012, matching the marketing budget for the same year – and in capital expenditure projects ($21.5 billion in 2012).
Interestingly, Lenior said that he believes the public doesn’t see Samsung “as a market leader just yet,” but more of a challenger. He further added that the company will continue to act as a challenger even in markets that it’ll dominate, in order to make sure it survives on the long run.