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Samsung launches 'DigitAll' campaign

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Samsung Electronics North America last month launched a multimillion-dollar integrated ad campaign, including a massive Web effort with 375 million impressions a month.

The campaign, with the tagline "Samsung DigitAll," includes print, television, online and outdoor. Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, and Chiel Communications America, Ridgefield Park, N.J., developed the campaign.

Samsung Electronics North America, Ridgefield Park, N.J., is a division of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., based in Seoul. The company is a manufacturer of consumer electronics equipment, including mobile phones, display monitors, digital cameras and TVs. The new campaign is a broad b-to-b and business-to-consumer effort that targets Samsung’s retail and distribution partners, business decision-makers and end users.

From none to a ton

A key component of the campaign is online advertising, the budget for which was not disclosed. The online effort is a huge undertaking for Samsung, which did no online advertising last year, according to Peter Weedfald, VP-North America strategic marketing and new media at Samsung.

"My conundrum is, the media and advertising I’m working with don’t cycle as fast and efficiently as my product launches do," said Weedfald, who joined Samsung six months ago, after serving as exec VP of e-mail marketing company Bigfoot Interactive. He was also publisher and senior VP of IDG’s ComputerWorld magazine. "The holy grail is to line up advertising vehicles that match my products," he said, noting that Samsung is in launch mode 365 days a year with its various products all over the world.

Weedfald, a strong believer in online advertising, negotiated the top positions on 57 leading Web sites, including Forbes.com, Fortune.com, BusinessWeek.com and CRN.com.

"If we’re real smart, we view the Internet not as a marketing and advertising vehicle, but as the greatest supply chain management opportunity," Weedfald said, pointing to the ability to time campaigns to product launches and retail opportunities with supply chain partners.

The online campaign features 22 executions, including an online sweepstakes offering a chance to win a $5,000 shopping spree at Sears, Roebuck & Co., a Samsung retailer.

In addition to the online campaign, Samsung is running print ads in more than 40 publications, including Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, CRN and VARBusiness. TV ads launched last month.

Print, online and TV ads feature new products, including the Samsung XYC211 flat-screen monitor and the Samsung A400 mobile phone.

Fund raising integral

Another important part of the campaign is a fund-raising effort called Four Seasons of Hope, which kicked off May 16 with an event in New York.

The program features four charities linked to sports celebrities, and will be supported by Samsung’s retail partners. The charities are the Joe Torre Family Foundation, Boomer Esiason Foundation, Magic Johnson Foundation and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women. Retailers Sears, Best Buy, CompUSA and Radio Shack will encourage their customers to donate to the charities.

Rudy Grahn, an analyst at Jupiter Media Metrix, said the Samsung brand has undergone a repositioning.

"They have moved away from strictly quantity to more premium hardware offerings," he said, noting Samsung’s introduction of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cell phones, and its distribution in higher-end electronics specialty stores in addition to discount retailers such as Best Buy.

Grahn said Samsung’s huge online effort is a good way to reach its target audience. "If you’re trying to put out a premium offering, there is a natural convergence with the Internet audience," Grahn said. "The eyeballs they are targeting are online."

Grahn also said the price of Internet advertising is at its lowest ever ($2.50 cost per impression effective yield, which is total revenue weighed against total impressions served), so it’s a good time to make a large investment in online advertising.

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