Samsung reinforces early-adopter status with smart watch campaign
October 8, 2013
Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch
Samsung is taking the first steps in marketing its new Galaxy Gear smart watches with two videos that use pop culture references to appeal to tech-savvy first adopters.
The two one-minute long videos are called “Evolution” and “A Long Time Coming” and have been posted to Samsung’s YouTube account. In particular, the ads play up science fiction references that highlight Samsung as one of the first manufacturers to push out a smart watch.
"What's interesting about this ad is that it seems to be casting a wide net with its message," said Alex Kutsishin, director of business development at FiddleFly, Columbia, MD. "In my opinion, I think that's a great idea.
"We don't quite know who will be the right audience for this product, so Samsung is letting everybody know," he said.
"If it sounds like they're speaking to you, then you should go buy it. This product could be for everyone, so again kudos to Samsung for trying not to be too targeted, yet. It is right on point for the Galaxy Gear line."
In “Evolution,” images of different forward-thinking watches from television shows, movies and comic books of the past flash across the screen.
For example, an image from the famous “Dick Tracy” comic series shows the main character’s fictional watch, which functions as a two-way radio.
References to The Jetsons, Knight Rider and Star Trek are also included in the short commercial with replica images of the watches referenced in the TV shows and film.
Then pictures of the new Galaxy Gear watches flash across the screen with copy that reads, “After all these years it's finally real.”
A screenshot of the ad
Additionally, the ad shows how consumers can access music, contacts and even receive a call through the smart watch.
The “Long Time Coming” ad also plays up the same nostalgia as “Evolution," but instead shows clips of the pop culture references versus the famous watches themselves.
At the end of the video, an image of a woman talks through her Galaxy Gear smart watch.
Another screenshot of the video
New devices, new challenges
Despite the attempt from Samsung to appeal to consumers through pop culture references, Samsung still likely faces some challenges with marketing its new smart watches.
Manufacturers and some forward-thinking marketers are increasingly seeing smart watches as the next big thing for mobile.
For example, eBay made a big bet on the new Galaxy Gear at its launch with a commerce-enabled app that lets consumers bid and view the status of bids via their wrists (see story).
However, the consumer awareness for these kinds of devices is still tiny.
Samsung’s battle with marketing its new smart watch also faces substantial challenges since the manufacturer has to sell the watch in addition to a new smartphone.
The Galaxy Gear smart watch syncs up with Samsung’s new Galaxy Note III smartphone and costs $299.
By limiting the number of devices that the watch works with, Samsung could be alienating large groups of both existent and prospective consumers.
Additionally, the product life cycle continues to shrink, meaning that Samsung has a shorter amount of time to make the two devices appeal to consumers.
Since launching late last month, the devices have also received some poor reviews from consumers because of a reported short battery life on the devices, so it remains to be seen what impact the videos will have on Samsung's overall sales of the devices.
“With the numerous science fiction references, the message of this campaign seems to be that what once was fantastically impractical and obtrusive is now practical and unobtrusive, if not quite elegant, especially for those who identify with an active, connected lifestyle,” said Brennan Hayden, vice president of mobile at [x+1], New York.
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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Comments on "Samsung reinforces early-adopter status with smart watch campaign"
Chris B says:
October 8, 2013 at 7:51am