Samsung launches new smartphones with ‘first of its kind’ TV advert

Mobile World Congress: Samsung has stepped up its marketing battle with rival Apple by running what it claims is a ‘first of its kind’ TV advert on the same night as its launch event for the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge smartphones.

Samsung 6

The advert, which is due to air in the break before the News at Ten on ITV tonight (1 March), will use footage from the event at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this evening to create an imitation ‘breaking news’ segment that informs viewers about the launch.

The move reflects the need for mobile brands to maximise the publicity around product launches in light of intense competition from rivals and consumers’ rising expectations about new technology. Apple is thought to have timed its own product announcement schedule to clash with the period around MWC in order to take publicity away from rivals.

Samsung vice-president of corporate marketing Russell Taylor told Marketing Week that the TV advert was indicative of the brand’s efforts to differentiate itself and grow its reputation for innovation among consumers. The Galaxy S6 and S6 edge incorporate a number of new features designed to give Samsung a competitive edge including wireless charging, metal casing and shatter resistant screens.

“The job of marketers is to do bold, brave and confident things that get people to notice and pay attention,” he said at the Samsung Unpacked event at MWC. “The piece that we’re launching tonight with ITV is a way of us transmitting our energy and excitement to people so that they say ‘this is something interesting from Samsung – something new is coming and I must pay attention’.”

Among the noteworthy new functions announced by Samsung was Samsung Pay: its new mobile payments facility and a competitor to the existing Apple Pay system. Samsung hopes that the service, which uses proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to connect with merchant card readers, will lead to an acceleration of mobile payments following the inertia around Near Field Communication (NFC) technology from many retailers and consumers.

Samsung is also seeking to extend its presence across ‘the internet of things’ by launching a new version of its Samsung Gear virtual reality headset that is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, though no other wearable devices were announced. The wireless charging feature, meanwhile, includes a partnership with Ikea that will see the furniture maker incorporate wireless charging technology into some of its home furnishings.

“We’re a very young brand, so we grew up embracing digital from day one,” said Taylor. “The internet of things is very real and we’re bringing that reality to everybody – that’s very much the spirit of the brand.”

Samsung will roll out a global marketing campaign to promote the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge when the devices go on sale on April 10th.

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  1. Luke Barnett 2 Mar 2015

    not to be negative, but it’s not exactly ‘first of it’s kind’.

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