As the much-anticipated Galaxy S3 phone is being rolled into the marketplace, signs of Samsung Electronics' (Seoul: 005930) largest-ever marketing campaign are starting to appear in New York -- interactive signs.
At bus stops in Manhattan, owners of the new phone can tap the posters to wirelessly download a track from the hip-hop group Goodie Mob, featuring CeeLo Green.
Nigel Emery, marketing vice president for Cemusa Inc., which manages 3,300 bus shelter ad spaces throughout New York City, said Friday that Samsung has consigned 40 spots in Manhattan as part of a massive multichannel marketing campaign that includes 40,000 interactive posters and 50 kiosks nationwide for delivering digital content to owners of the new phone.
The U.S. unit of South Korea's Samsung isn't divulging financial details, but Samsung USA's Chief Marketing Officer Tom Pendleton said Wednesday on the eve of the phone's U.S. debut that this is the biggest marketing campaign in Samsung's history.
The wall-size touchscreen at New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal suggests major cash has been injected into a campaign aimed at maintaining the phone's No. 1 slot against Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) immensely popular iPhone.
Samsung spent $142 million on marketing the Galaxy brand in the U.S. last year, up from $79 million the year before, AdAge reported, following Pendleton's announcement.
It's believed that the marketing budget for the next few months will more than double what the company spent on all Galaxy-branded products in the U.S. in 2011, said the industry magazine.
The ad campaign is going all-out on the interactive strategy. In an estimated 2,000 movie theaters, the company will run 3-D shorts. Fifty-five theaters will have sensors installed that will respond to audience movements in promotional spots. The kiosks will offer e-book downloads of a mobile magazine aimed at promoting the phone's features.
AdAge reported that Denuo, a division of France's Publicis Groupe (Pink: PUBGY), is handling Samsung USA's digital marketing.
While the phone is now available in the U.S., both T-Mobile USA Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) have said they don't have enough phones in stock to meet demand until next week. T-Mobile is selling the phone for $81 over the listed price for either the 16 GB or 32 GB models after the $50 mail-in rebate, Bloomberg reported Friday.
Samsung has said it has 9 million pre-orders in the U.S. and can produce 5 million units a month for worldwide delivery. So if you haven't ordered the phone already, you might need to get in line.