Samsung Wants to Be a Premium Brand In Home Appliances

With Celebrity Chefs In Tow, Samsung Makes A Big Marketing Push For Home Appliances

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Samsung sells more TVs than anyone else, but they're trying to become a premium brand in other staples of domestic life, and they've got a colossal marketing budget to make it happen.

On Wednesday, the Korean electronics giant revealed the latest features of its home appliances line with a decadent event in downtown Manhattan, where four Michelin star chefs shared a stage with Samsung executives. For the event, the company renovated a warehouse, which will serve briefly as a showroom for its line of kitchen, dishwasher and laundry products.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Samsung revealed its plans to move aggressively into connected home devices. Its upgraded appliances, tied up with its 'Club des Chefs' campaign, launched last year, include a renovated refrigerator -- with a digital temperature gauge and features recommended by its high-profile culinary partners -- and an upgraded smart-fridge, which features apps that connect to certain Samsung and Android phones. It also announced a smart LED bulb.

"We're creating products that people never knew they needed, but now can't live without," Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, said on Wednesday.

The company's appliances arm is also flexing its American marketing muscle in the U.S., in a bid to make its products a household name, like its televisions and phones. "The U.S. market will be our priority," Samsung President and CEO BK Yoon said, in a rare public appearance.

At the event, Samsung announced the addition of celebrated chef Daniel Boulud to the campaign, which will include six televised spots.

"This is our biggest launch ever," Peggy Ang, VP-Market Communications at Samsung, told Ad Age.

It kicked off with two television spots, that began running this week, for Samsung's new oven and dishwasher. The ads, created by McKinney New York, were directed by Andrew Douglas, who recently concluded direction on uwantme2killhim?, a feature film thriller produced by Bryan Singer.

Samsung bought more than 50 print insertions in publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple and USA Today. The Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest handled digital media buying.

Samsung would not comment on the spending details of the campaign. In 2012, Samsung spent $9.74 billion on advertising and sales promotion worldwide, according to the Ad Age DataCenter.

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