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Samsung spent $401 million in smartphone marketing in 2012, Apple at $333 million

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Samsung spent $401 million in smartphone marketing in 2012, Apple at $333 million
Sometimes, regardless of the product you're selling, advertising can take you quite a long way especially if you're going up against an established product. Samsung obviously understands this because it turns out the Korean company spent $401 million to market its Galaxy smartphones in 2012, which is more than any competitor, including Apple's iPhone advertising budget.

The report from ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media say that Samsung spent $401 million in advertising in the US last year, compared to "just" $333 million spent by Apple in US advertising for the iPhone. Overall, Kantar says that advertising expenditures in the telecom sector increased 4% year-over-year, up to $8.66 billion in 2012. And, most of that increase came from marketing for wireless phones. 

Those are some pretty big numbers, but we'd like to see global numbers, or at least numbers for the entire mobile segment and not just smartphone campaigns. Unfortunately, those numbers usually come as part of annual reports released around August. As of last August, it had been reported that Apple spent $933 million on advertising in total for 2011, and was expected to cross the billion dollar mark for ads in 2012, and Microsoft had reported $1.6 billion in total marketing spending for its 2012 fiscal year (which ends in June). 

It also makes us wonder what the numbers look like for other companies in the mobile market, like Verizon, AT&T, Motorola, HTC, Sony and the rest. Although, we will assume that the marketing budgets for other handset manufacturers pale in comparison to Samsung and Apple.  

source: Kantar via WSJ

23 Comments
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posted on 13 Mar 2013, 12:07 10

1. YaBoiDre10 (Posts: 84; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)


I love the fact that Samsung is focusing more on advertising. People always say Apple products are better, no they're just marketed more. Whatever is marketed the most people are going to buy! I just hope other companies such as HTC, Motorola , ect. catch on so they can too show there's other options out there than the iPhone.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 12:14 1

4. xperiaDROID (Posts: 4828; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Wait, I thought Apple is focusing more on advertising not Samsung, Samsung only focus on their smartphones which is a good thing.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 12:46

11. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5282; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Marketing and advertising is how a number of brands get to be number 1 in their respective markets. In the U.S. beer market, A-B outspent their competitors every year. If Sammy continues outspending its competitors, expect a similar outcome.

posted on 17 Mar 2013, 13:01

23. Xperia42 (Posts: 60; Member since: 30 May 2012)


You spitting the truth man, right on

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 12:12 7

2. knights4life03 (Posts: 123; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


The galaxy s3 commercials of the people in line for next iphone was genius. I watched everytime it came on. Thats probably the reason why samsung spent so much money. More marketing means more sales, that's how the galaxy s3 sold more than the iphone 5

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 12:17 5

6. YaBoiDre10 (Posts: 84; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)


My point exactly.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 12:21 6

9. suneeboy (Posts: 149; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


$300 million, $400 million....when the numbers get that high is there really that much of a difference? Especially when a Super Bowl commercial alone can cost $5 million for 30 seconds? I'm sick of these 'factoid' articles. Let's put things into perspective here. This includes salaries, benefits, expenses, sponsors, spokespeople, overhead, office space, etc. Not just 'Samsung marketing' versus 'Apple marketing'.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 20:07

18. E.N. (Posts: 2218; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


You're right, we really don't need numbers to tell us that Samsung spent top dollar on advertising, clearly more than any other smartphone manufacturer. Their commercials and ads ran everywhere. Also you could never turn on the television during the Olympics without seeing a Samsung commercial every 10 minutes. There are already commercials and teasers on the SG IV and it hasn't even been released yet, lol. HTC on the other hand had a great line with their One series and yet they struggled. I'm not going to say that advertising is the only reason but I think it was a HUGE factor.

I think its kinda funny hearing all of these negative comments about boring looks and plasticy feel of the rumored GSIV because people were expressing the exact same discontent and issues even after the announcement of the GSIII. Samsung just needs to include good hardware upgrades and some software improvements and I'm sure they can advertise their way to the top.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 12:27 5

10. biophone (Posts: 1884; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Heck sometimes samsung gets caught up on attacking apple and its users rather than promoting its products, brand, or image. But their commercials are clever and this along with their great products has been a recipe for success. I'm excited to see the next big thing and am hoping for a more sophisticated design.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 20:56

20. networkdood (Posts: 5538; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Actually, Samsung always has shown a feature that an I product cannot do. Inn this way it promotes their product with subtle and not-so-subtle jabs. Compare the two companies and you can see Samsung out marketing Apple.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 15:32 1

12. bojan (Posts: 188; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)


Apple is dead why you give them press for a dead comapny outdated.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 18:17 1

15. darkkjedii (Posts: 9290; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


That made absolutely no sense.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 18:09 1

14. lyndon420 (Posts: 1641; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Apple sucks.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 18:19 2

16. darkkjedii (Posts: 9290; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Say it again but louder

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 18:30 2

17. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)


And this is one of the many reasons why the SIII was a succesful product! Go marketing!

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 20:52 1

19. networkdood (Posts: 5538; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Samsung has been beating Apple at its own game.

posted on 13 Mar 2013, 21:02

21. networkdood (Posts: 5538; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The thing with Apple is they have grown complacent because they realize that in America the product sells without too much effort in marketing. Thus, you have these lame Apple commercials selling the products while showing off apps. Samsung has been marketing the hardware side of things, showing off what it can do while simultaneously showing what I products cannot do.

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