BBDO Picks Up LG Work for Upcoming G5 Phone

Agency Will Handle Global Campaign

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BBDO has snagged a big electronics client.

The Omnicom agency's Chicago office, EnergyBBDO, will handle the launch of LG's next phone, the G5, which is coming in the very near future.

Credit: LG

BBDO confirmed the relationship but did not comment further.Those attending Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month may have already received an invite to LG's G5 event. The invitation is among the first work that BBDO has created for the phone introduction, according to people familiar with the matter, and the creative elements and themes in the invitation are likely a taste of what's to come for the global marketing blitz.

Additional work for other LG products is likely to follow. LG has often worked with its in-house agency on launches for previous phones and other products, though it has also worked with agencies in the past. LG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company said in a recent earnings call that it would introduce "two new flagship models" this year, the first one being the G5. Last year it rolled out the G4 phone, and later in the year introduced its V10.

LG has struggled to grow its smartphone business in a meaningful way, and will have to put a significant marketing blitz behind the G5 if it wants to get a good sales bump, a challenge in an extremely competitive category fast approaching a saturation point. In its recent earnings, LG reported relatively unchanged smartphone sales in 2015 versus 2014, with growth of only a half a million units to 59.7 million.

ComScore just yesterday released its December U.S. smartphone ranking, putting Apple once again at the top of the chart, though its share declined slightly by 0.7% to 42.9% share in December from 43.6% in September. Samsung, the No. 2 phone, increased by 0.8% in that time period to 28.4%. LG is the No. 3 smartphone in the U.S., but if it hopes to catch up to Samsung, it has a lot of work to do. In December, LG had a 9.9% market share, up 0.5% from September.

Globally, LG wasn't among the top five smartphone makers in the second quarter of 2015, according to IDC. Samsung is No. 1 worldwide, followed by Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo.

LG is airing a Super Bowl spot for its OLED TV, its first time advertising in the big game. The ad is being produced by Ridley Scott's production company, RSA Films, and directed by Mr. Scott's son, Jake. BBDO did not have any involvement in that ad, and it's possible there was no external agency working on it.

The Korean electronics company in 2014 spent about $132 million on U.S. measured media, according to Kantar media. In the first nine months of 2015 it spent about $117 million.

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