updated 10:40 am EDT, Thu April 26, 2012
Samsung uses guerilla ads for Galaxy S III run-up
(Update: Samsung denies involvement) Samsung has decided to go beyond just TV ads decrying Apple stores to actively campaigning in front of them. As seen first-hand (below) by well-known Australian video maker Nate Burr and recounted through checks by mUmBRELLA, the Korean company has recruited marketers at Tongue to send buses of mock protesters to Apple's Sydney store, urging those inside to "wake up." Although the street team makes no mention of Samsung, a Wake Up Australia site has a countdown that directly lines up with Samsung's Galaxy S III event on May 3.
The campaign would be consistent with Samsung's heavy focus on Apple retail stores and launching attacks against iPhone users themselves, rather than the product. Its US TV ads, culminating in its Super Bowl spot for the Galaxy Note, have likened iPhone fans to being imprisoned for wanting to line up at stores. Opting for a Samsung-made Android phone has often been likened to "freedom" in the ads.
The earlier ad blitz is commonly thought to be targeting Android loyalists or those who would never have considered an Apple product in the first place. It also carries a degree of irony for Samsung, which has tried to generate lineups itself by selling Galaxy S II phones in a pop-up Sydney store just next to Apple's location.
In the smartphone space, Apple is now Samsung's only major competitor in terms of individual manufacturers. Nokia now has half Samsung's 22.8 percent share, according to fall IDC numbers, while Samsung's next-closest Android rival, HTC, has just 6.5 percent. As such, Apple may be Samsung's only realistic target, although Samsung has been accused inside and outside of Apple of too eagerly pursuing an iPhone-like design, both in hardware and in software.
Update: Samsung has since denied creating the campaign, although no one has stepped forward to identify themselves. Electronista apologizes for the premature conclusion.