Samsung marketing exec: Americans "obsessed with Apple, it’s time to change people’s attention"

Samsung marketing exec: Americans
If you look at the smartphone market in the US, especially in this last quarter it becomes clear - people love the iPhone and it just continues growing at astounding rates. Samsung is the big challenger and its latest ad campaign is probably the first really awesome and down-to-earth attempt at getting people to like the Samsung brand. It mocks Apple fans and introduces catchy verbs like “getting samsunged” for the “creative” baristas and others it portrays as camping out in front of Apple stores, waiting for whatever Apple brings up next.

And that approach to get users to like and somehow personally associate with Samsung is only going to get stronger, if we are to listen to Samsung’s marketing executive Younghee Lee. 

“Especially in U.S., people are obsessed with Apple,” Lee said in an interview for AllThingsD. “It’s time to change people’s attention.”

Lee joined Samsung four and a half years ago, with names as L’Oreal and Lancome in her list of previous employers. Her background in cosmetics is what gave her a unique perspective: 

“Nobody was talking about consumer languages. I saw the huge potential there. I tried to interpret our difficult technology into consumer languages.”

Interestingly, Lee sees the ad effort as key and reveals plans to take things to the next level at Super Bowl. She believes that phones are more than just a tool - many people have the “what I have in my hands is me” approach.

Has Samsung managed to turn consumer’s attention to itself despite Apple’s huge growth? And is this the right track? Chime in with your opinions below.

source: AllThingsD



2. BioTek

Posts: 53; Member since: Jan 23, 2012

And he's absolutely right.

3. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

"...many people have the “what I have in my hands is me” approach." This describes the vast majority of iPhone adopters, sure there are those who genuinely got the phone because they were impressed with what it can do but those people are definitely in the minority. Samsung is doing what they will with all the publicity and targeting ads at the drone mentality of apple customers in a lighthearted way is useful. Brand awareness and of course it will cause people to start to stigmatize the Apple faithful as mindless drones who just take whatever Cupertino gives them and settles with it until their next "big" thing. I wonder what that Super Bowl commercial is going to be about, I hope it's hilarious.

87. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

I really don't see how you can feel special owning an iPhone when it seems like everyone every other person owns one. I just don't see the logic in arguments like that. But anyways, Samsung is really pushing the status symbol in their recent advertisements. "Oh what is that? Is that a Samsung? It's a Samsung! Samsung? It's the Galaxy SII! Hey, you should just get a Samsung..I think I've just been Samsunged" - they're really trying to make Samsung a buzz word. I don't see how you can complain about Apple when Samsung is pushing status in all their commercials. They're showing very little phone and features.

98. GorpBlumpkin

Posts: 1; Member since: May 29, 2012

thats like saying the other people have the "its not apple so it must be good' approach. please. people pick the phone they like for thier own reasons, why does it matter so much? you point out that the apple users are drones because they listen to what apple gives them.. How is that any different than falling for this or any marketing scheme by samsung? you're just mindlessly following them now instead of just going out and picking up a phone you like. Maybe its just as simple as some americans like to buy a phone from an american company instead of a korean one. maybe if samsung stopped making buckets of phones and focused only on one, they'd be a lot better. but they dont and its a crapshoot for which one will be supported with updates and which one will flat out suck. The Samsung drones fall for exactly what Samsung is hopping for when they market against the iphone. i've owned a samsung with android, and i've owned a iphone... sure you can do more with the samsung, (altho the amount of absolute crap found in its unregulated app store is the reverse side effect of that), however with iphone actually works like i'd want a phone to. so i sacrifice some options and i pick the one that works. you should make up your own mind too instead of listening to marketing by any company that tells you something.

4. meetmadzky

Posts: 12; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

I third the motion.

5. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

I think we need more people saying what Android can do. Its a much better campaign, show them we have cool apps show them we have some games show them Android can be useful and they will buy. Calling all possibilities is the best campaign for now

17. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

those nexus commercials are absolutely terrible. The samsung commercials seem to be a much more effective marketing scheme

24. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

I don't know. "Calling all possibilities" seemed good to me they don't go all out on specs but shoe usefulness of the gnex

37. max9777

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 11, 2011

They don't go out all on specs because they don't need too. People in the cellphone market know that Samsung phones are good and spec wise powerful..

56. wakingup

Posts: 51; Member since: Aug 13, 2011

I also dont think they want to. Some not as fanatical consumers dont know about all that jargon. They can ask what and AMOLED is, what a NFC is and such. No doubt, Apple is a monster when it comes to advertising and marketing, thats why its so big. Products on the other hand is over-rated- with the help of their insane marketing department. Samsung and Google needs to do the same. Only that they have a better product(s).

22. MorePhonesThanNeeded

Posts: 645; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

That would be nice, but the Samsung creative director of the ads is correct, as it's attacking the mentality of the customer. Remember iPhone is seen as a status symbol and when you start pointing out the nerdyness of waiting in line for a phone, I assure you that the superficial people will start to feel a bit uneasy. No one wants to be associated with something like that. Just like years back people wouldn't openly admit to being a gamer, because it was thought to be nerdy and back room. Now it's a cool thing to do. Samsung is just doing the reverse with their commercials, nice idea and it will definitely get a lot of attention. Samsung can do it because the GS phones are very impressive and are on par with Apple's iPhone in tech, but we will see if these guys capitalize on battery consumption.

25. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Good point. I personally though they where a bit harsh and more like some "hate" at the apple fanboys. Never saw it in that way. Adds going after your pride as a "non geek" or "cool dude" will have a certain effect on the average consumer

34. Jodabro

Posts: 35; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Problem with that theory is that just like being a "gamer" use to have bad connotation. Geek used to have a bad connotation as well, but because of the advancement of tech in our society has turned geek into cool/knowledged. Look at the success of tv shows Big Bang Theory and IT Crowd. Also the fact that Best Buy actually calls their tech group the Geek Squad says its marketable as cool. People have come to like geeks, it still is not cool to be a nerd.

36. Jodabro

Posts: 35; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

When I was in sales the most effective way to get some to buy, was to find two features that they would actually use in their everyday life. Then they didn't just like it, they felt they needed it. This is what apple is doing in their marketing campain for years now. Sell the features of the phones. I am a Android user and prefer it over apple for many reasons. As a marketer they should find thoses features and sell that. They could have sold voice actions before apple sold everyone on Siri. Problem is their are too many android companies working against eachother instead of against apple.

45. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Ive being saying it's what Android lacks. When siri was brought people believed it was something overly ground breaking. But voice actions existed. And speech recognition as a way of input was normal on Android. People need to know what Android can do before they use Android. It's what makes Android popular.

7. ryq24

Posts: 876; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

owning iphone is a status symbol. samsung phone is for those that cant afford an iphone.


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

any hill billy has an iphone now.. and sir its more expensive to own a nice samsung than an iphone even on contract... your just an is33p like the rest

12. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Psh, it's not about the price! People who bought the Razr when it first released paid $100 more for their phone than those who bought a 16GB iPhone. I'd pay what I would have to for the latest and greatest...... which does not include the iPhone.

30. tedkord

Posts: 17512; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I paid more for my Thunderbolt than I would have for an iPhone. How do you explain that? (Or, do the words get scrambled inside the RDF?)


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

Samsung should release there phones in the U.S alot sooner instead of making us wait longer than everybody else

13. tech-head

Posts: 133; Member since: Sep 02, 2011

They need to release their phones simultaneously worldwide. If they could release the GS3 worldwide, that would be awesome.


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

yea that would also be a great idea.. i think the phone would have sold more here in the US if it would have sold sooner .. what ever is "cool" in america tends to be cool in most other places in the world

31. tedkord

Posts: 17512; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Blame the carriers more than Samsung. They all want to cram the phones with bloat, and tie them down to ensure you can't get any functionality for free that they could potentially charge you for.

9. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

i think samsung is doing a great job with advertising. For the first time, i have people asking me questions about android and my sgs2 because they are seriously considering buying it over their iphone. Android's biggest problem is having soo many manufacturers releasing laggy android phones...

26. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

The bad Android phones steal reputation from the good phones. Its adroids weakness

16. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

oh, the revelation.. after years it dawned on Samsung. that apple is absolutely superior and still untouchable in one thing, which happens to be the most important one - selling the products. let's hope the rest finally start learning something

23. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

Samsung have not had a bad quarter themselves and apple maginally sold more but also had 1 week more of sales..Samsung still sold more smart phones overall in 2011 so I think they know what they are doing and seem to be selling fine don't you think?

18. squeeb

Posts: 99; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Meh, I don't have a single iProduct in my house.

28. vishu9

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

Me neither!! I'm on the path to getting everybody "samsung-ed"!! :D

33. tedkord

Posts: 17512; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I've got one iPod, my daughters. She's not very tech savvy, so it's perfect for her. I made her put iTunes on her laptop, though - stinking program gummed my PC all up, tried to tie into everything.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless