The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

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By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

August 8, 2019 | 3 min read

Samsung’s recently opened ‘retail experience’ in London’s King Cross will sit at the heart of the UK ad campaign for its new Galaxy Note 10 device which it hopes will buck declining smartphone sales.

The Korean tech giant drew a crowd for the global reveal of the Galaxy Note 10 at its Unpacked event in New York yesterday (8 August). It comes in two sizes, with one boasting its largest ever screen at 6.8 inches, with a 5G-compatible version also available as well as improved camera, S-pen and voice features.

The event kicked off a regional marketing blast which will include TV, out of home, and digital over the coming weeks as it tries to encourage people to pre-register before it’s available to buy in late August. A key time-period given biggest rival Apple is set to launch a new device in September.

But it’s also a test for how it uses its ‘experiential’ retail hubs, of which there are a handful around the world, to showcase products. They’re relatively new channels in its marketing arsenal, with the its eight-story Tokyo flagship only opening in March though already welcoming thousands of visitors a day.

Rebecca Hirst, marketing director for the UK, told The Drum that at the heart of its marketing push will be the first retail outfit in London’s King Cross, where it will host events for ‘key influencers’ and tech journalists such as demos, workshops and masterclasses to experiment with the phone’s features.

“We'll communicate with the people that love the Galaxy Note 10 through and through before we go out to the masses,” she said, adding that already preregisters for this device are the highest she’s ever seen.

It will also lean heavily on partners including Microsoft and Netflix to help promote the phone. Microsoft’s recently opened flagship store in London’s Regent Street will play host to a flurry of activity in the coming months.

Samsung is under pressure to deliver sales with this device, no mean feat in a stagnating smartphone market. Research company Gartner recently predicted there would be a 2.5% decline in worldwide sales this year compared with last.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s business has suffered its own falling profits as reported in its recent earnings, in part due to disappointing mobile sales. It’s not alone, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said that iPhone owners are upgrading their phones at a slower rate and that the price of new models has put off some buyers.

“Our main objective is to encourage our existing Note base to upgrade,” continued Hirst.

“We're bringing more people into the brand than ever before and devices like Note are turning people's heads. We've seen that with our 5G devices; people that have historically bought another brand are looking at us again because we have something no one else does.”

The TV ad will air from today (8 August).


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