Samsung Makes London Heathrow Terminal 5 A Galaxy S5

Posted: May 16 2014, 10:01am CDT | by , Updated: May 16 2014, 10:19am CDT


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Samsung Makes London Heathrow Terminal 5 a Galaxy S5

I’ve written before about Samsung’s marketing spend driving sales of the Galaxy brand of phones. When you look back at the success of handsets such as the Galaxy S3 and S4, the constant promotion of the Galaxy sub-brand and Samsung as a whole plays a huge part in that story.

There was a point where the advertising spend for the South Korean smartphone outpaced that of Coca-Cola. It’s certainly far higher than any of Samsung’s Android rivals, and clearly outstrips Apple’s marketing. Given that, it’s no surprise that you can spot the posters and branding during a daily commute, and many cultural events will have the Galaxy S5 logo tucked away somewhere (even last week’s Eurovision Song Contest helped out with the S5 message).

That said, sometimes marketing can cross the line from saturation to Spinal Tap. For the next two weeks, travelers trudging through London’s Heathrow airport will be pointed towards the ‘Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5‘ from Monday 19th May.

Signage at all entrances, drop-off points, lounges, security, gates, and the 172 digital panels throughout the terminal will promote the smartphone for two weeks to travelers in transit. The website home-page will also be re-branded .

In one sense, the campaign has already worked. The move is gathering coverage all over the tech and marketing blogs today, and they all mention the Samsung Galaxy S5. Mission Accomplished.

But it does weaken the brand perception of Samsung. It feels cheap and tacky (although I suspect it’s far from a cheap deal); it shows Samsung spending more money to keep the sales of the Galaxy S5 high (with quantities of 11 million units being reported by The Wall Street Journal and others); and at some point Samsung’s ad spend will be balanced against weaker sales. That’s not going to happen today, or tomorrow, but when it does, the drop-off could be dramatic.

Until then, expect Samsung to keep on increasing the budget, make bigger splashes, and build up even more outrageous connections. I just hope that the marketing team checks out the alternative meanings for ‘terminal’ before attaching it to the flagship handset…

In Pictures: Samsung Galaxy S5

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