January 16th, 2014

Samsung Has a Clever Marketing Campaign

FWIW, I own AAPL. If I own any Samsung (I don't even know the symbol), it is only as a not-very-visible-to-me component of a fund. We're a mixed universe household, but we are a predominantly Apple household, with some kindle devices, a chromebook and a desktop PC. My husband works for a chip manufacturer which is not Intel. Hopefully, that is adequate disclosure for this post.

I have friends who _love_ the Android universe. I have family members who _love_ the Android universe, or at least their phones. I have other friends and family who buy Android stuff because it is Not Apple. I also know people who buy Android stuff because it is Cheap. So when a Fast Company article rolled by about Samsung's "White Glove" program, I read it with interest. And then I reread about five times, because while it felt nakedly promotional the first time (duh -- it's Fast Company, what, are you not paying attention?), I got increasingly suspicious as I thought about it.

Let's just acknowledge that a lot of the celebs in the article are _not_ A-list now, if, indeed, they ever were. I was planning on doing a line-by-line showing how clever references to A-listers who were not involved in the White Glove program were included to sort of give the impression of A-listiness, but, you know, duh. I don't need to waste you time and I don't feel like wasting my time, because I found something much, much more entertaining.

Here is the Fast Company article.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3020215/the-real-reason-famous-people-like-jay-z-and-martha-stewart-use-samsung-phones

Here is why Jay-Z connects his name to Samsung:

http://www.fastcompany.com/3015234/dialed/the-heart-of-the-deal-why-jay-z-really-hooked-up-with-samsung

Short form: Samsung bought the first million copies of Magna Carta Holy Grail to give to the owners of their phones. You may recall that Beyonce released her latest album (which I really like) to iTunes recently. Apple phone owners did not get copies paid for by Apple.

Now this is all really fun, but you _have_ to watch the punchline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E03JhElRHoo

This is a TechCrunch video from CES 2014 (you know, just happened and all). In it, Martha Stewart is interviewed and asked about her electronics (always a rewarding activity. I'm not snarking. I don't care for MSLO product, but Martha Stewart on gadgets is _always_ worth a listen). "What's your favorite phone?" For a phone, the iPhone. For email, the blackberry. Vicious criticism of the current model of blackberry ensues. Then onto the Samsung watch. Martha Stewart is wearing it AND a regular watch (which she calls her "real watch") and demos taking a picture of the videographer. She then competently opens up the Galaxy Note (?) and drills down to find the picture that she just took so she can show it to the interviewer and videographer.

I am _fairly_ certain this isn't the kind of product endorsement that Samsung dreamed of. But I'm notoriously terrible when it comes to marketing, so what do I know?