Speaking to The Drum at Mobile World Congress, Samsung CMO Russell Taylor, said it’s overhauled its marketing for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge to being more about the history of the brand and the relevancy of its technology because “the reality is most people are feature fatigued”.
Samsung launched a campaign in the UK earlier this year to show off the interaction between its TVs and its phones.
Taylor said that was the first element in its new strategy of showing off the entire ecosystem, of which its new focus on VR is a part of. The next stage of the campaign, he said, was to work that into its activation around the Olympics.
“We’ll soon gear up for the Olympics. We are a big sponsor, it’s a big year for sport and a big year for Samsung. One thing is there is a desire for us to tell stories and the best way is to do it around passion points and one of our target’s main passion points is sport,” he explained.
The Samsung ‘Unpacked’ event at Mobile World Congress on the Sunday night did show off the new features and technology of the phone but the highlight of the event was a surprise speech from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. He talked about the more human application of the technology, such as VR and 360 video, that the two businesses were collaborating on.
“We are very proud of the features we have. We have a better camera and a better camera in low light, there’s no doubt about that but the reality is that most people are feature fatigued. We need to not bang on about it but make technology relevant to people,” he said.
One way Samsung are doing that is making its newest VR headset only $99 and also allowing people to get a free one when they pre-order the S7 or S7 Edge.
We make things that blow people away, we need to give them access to other products that bring this to life, show people the things they want from phone,” he added.
A new brand video is being used to show Samsung’s heritage of innovation and show that it’s not just about mobile phones, something that Taylor believes will capture the attention of an arguably over-coveted millennial audience.
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) February 18, 2016
“What we wanted to put across is that it’s more than just a phone, it’s a galaxy of experiences with the phone at the heart of everything. That’s not to downplay the importance of the phone but for young consumers more, the marketing activity needs to show everything we offer; an entire ecosystem of terrific innovations that come to life with a great mobile phone.
"The one thing we need to do with marketing is take advantage of the fact that we’ve got innovation bang on for the millennial audience, it’s already been talked about but not brought to market,” he said.
With the pressure to launch new models regularly, commentators have suggested that mobile new mobile phones are launching with more incremental changes. In the case of Samsung, critics have suggested that the VR give away and the lowering of the VR price point is covering up this trend of a slowdown in mobile innovation.
Taylor was quick to dismiss this criticism, however, and said Samsung was actually working hard to ensure that its technology can reach the widest audience.
“We are absolutely determined to give our tech to the most people that we can. Our philosophy has always been to give people access to tech, we do believe that people should have access to great products. We came to make a statement with this launch.
"We opened pre-orders the moment Unpacked ended and we are giving those people VR to try because we are so confident it will change the way they see the phone. It is a confident statement, that it is more than just a phone. It’s not a give away of the crown jewels, it’s also not just the launch of a phone, it’s the launch of something else,” he said.