Samsung looks to ‘product porn’ to make Galaxy S5 stand out

Samsung is hoping a marketing switch to “product porn” from a lifestyle positioning will help build excitement for its Galaxy S5 smartphone, a flagship device the brand believes will “smash” the sales levels of its predecessors.

Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung says the Initial marketing burst for its Galaxy S5 approach will take a product, rather than lifestyle-focused approach.

Ines van Gennip, Samsung’s UK and Ireland marketing director, told Marketing Week the brand is taking on an internal philosophy of “people inspired innovation” to help shape the product marketing strategy behind the launch of the Galaxy S5, which will be available to buy on 11 April.

She added that consumers “will be a bit surprised” by the creative in the forthcoming campaign – the media spend of which is set to equal that of the Galaxy S4, which was reportedly more than $1bn globally.

“We have always been very lifestyle focused and that is very important, but we know that people like to see the new device as the device itself is important. We’ve focused on making sure we have amazing product imagery at the heart of this campaign and making sure product is the real hero, [something we call here] ‘product porn’: amazing product that looks absolutely stunning, showing all the different angles because the device itself is beautiful…and really premium,” van Gennip says.

She adds the marketing activity combined with the strength of the product means the company is confident the S5 will “smash” the 40 million sales of the Samsung Galaxy S4 last year.

The move to focus on product imagery is a departure from the strategy taken just last year to turn to lifestyle marketing methods to encourage consumers to buy across all the tiers of Samsung’s smartphone, tablet, laptops and camera ranges.

Van Gennip says once the product messages have been firmly seeded into the market and awareness levels have been raised, the brand will then switch to more lifestyle-led marketing, telling stories about the phone’s features such as its battery  life, speed, camera and health and wellness options such as the in-built heart monitor.

Samsung is also currently working with a number of UK partners in areas such as insurance and fitness content to build up its wellness ecosystem, which also includes the recently announced Gear Fit smart band and Gear smart watches. Van Gennip said Samsung would also work with its retail partners to offer consumers options to bundle wearable tech with the Galaxy S5.

Beyond the TV, outdoor and print “hygiene factors” of the campaign, van Gennip said Samsung is also working harder with the likes of Google on analytics and with its channel partners to ensure consumers experience a consistent customer journey online whether they are on the Samsung website or that of a retailer like Phones 4U. This “omni-channel” approach could mean a consumer who visited the Samsung website and viewed information about the Galaxy S5’s heart monitor capabilities could be served information about a Galaxy Gear Fit and Galaxy S5 bundle or health content, for example.

Samsung’s move to open 31 retail stores across Europe in the coming months, as announced in February, will also help bring the “S5 story to life”, van Gennip said.

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