After seeing Apple’s success as a result of a strong and focused advertising campaign – outspending Samsung three-fold in 2011 – the South Korean rival has responded by spending $68 million more on phone advertising than Apple did last year.
According to a report issued by ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media (via the Wall Street Journal), Samsung spent $401 million advertising phones last calendar year in the US, compared to Apple’s $333 million spent for their marketing blitz on TV, billboards, Internet and print media.
“They understand how to build a strong product…and have been willing to invest to drive their success,” said Michael Sievert, chief marketing officer of T-Mobile USA Inc., a unit of Deutsche Telekom.
One of the major changes in Samsung’s strategy, besides outspending Apple, was a more focused branding. As the Kantar study points out, when it launched the Galaxy S3 last year Samsung insisted that all four national US carriers use the same name. This wasn’t an easy sell, because it broke the long practice of using different names on each network, but carriers agreed seeing the logic in promoting a consistent brand.
Samsung’s “The Next Big Thing is Already Here” campaign, which constantly poked fun at iPhone users, has contributed the South Korean manufacturer’s success, along with ads like the company’s Super Bowl TV ad from February poking fun at Apple’s worldwide patent litigation.
Apple’s iPhone, however, remains America’s most effective mobile phone brand, according to advertising analytics firm Ace Metrix. But the budget and its marketing
efforts pushed Samsung into second place for phones.