Samsung does not have an unlimited marketing budget, but it probably seems so to some of its competitors. The company, which paid $20 million for a few hours in the Oscars limelight, has spent an estimated $14 billion for ads and other marketing activities in 2013 alone. That sort of budget opens up a lot of possibilities, including some pretty wild ones, like taking over the biggest terminal of Europe’s busiest airport.
Samsung just announced that London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5, one of the largest and busiest terminals in the world, will be renamed “Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5” for a two-week period.
In what the company calls a “revolutionary campaign,” all signage, indicators, digital screens, and even the terminal’s website will sport the new name. Samsung was allowed “to push the boundaries like no other brand has been allowed to do before,” as this is the first time Heathrow Airport allowed such a brand takeover for Terminal 5.
Opened in 2008, Terminal 5 is Heathrow’s largest, at 350,000 square meters, and almost 30 million passengers transited in 2012 alone. As such, Samsung’s campaign is guaranteed to put its self-dubbed “iconic” Galaxy S5 in front of hundreds of thousands of potential customers. But large airports can get hectic even without a potentially confusing name change, so Samsung’s marketing heads better hope this stunt doesn’t backfire.
As for why is Samsung spending lavishly for this campaign, the company registered a sharp drop in the UK in Q1 2014, falling from 36.7 percent to 30.2 percent market share. With strong competition from Apple and Sony at the high-end and Motorola in the budget segment, Samsung’s pulling all stops to make the Galaxy S5 a hit.