SAMSUNG AD PUSH CHATS UP VOICE-ACTIVATED CELL PHONE: HIP, $10 MILLION EFFORT CREATED BY ARNELL GROUP

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Samsung Telecommunications America is ramping up an aggressive push for its new hands-free-dialing cellular phone with a $10 million advertising campaign through the end of the year.

Five TV spots will break nationally next month for the Samsung SCH-2010, the first handheld wireless phone to offer voice-activated dialing.

A b&w print campaign broke this month in 30 consumer magazines, including People, George, Vogue and Men's Health. Outdoor boards were unveiled last week in several cities, including New York.

Arnell Group, New York, created the campaign.

Sprint Corp.'s Sprint PCS wireless phone division is offering a co-branded Sprint/Samsung phone exclusively through its own stores, RadioShack and others including Best Buy and Circuit City, at a suggested retail price of $179.99. Users can call up to 20 locations simply by saying, "Call" followed by a programmed keyword.

`IF THE PHONE FITS . . .'

The ads aim at a young, hip consumer, using flip one-liners such as "If the phone fits, wear it" and "All you have to do is say the word."

That reflects Samsung's consumer base and target, said Pete Skarzynski, VP-wireless sales and marketing for Samsung Telecommunications America. Samsung users tend to be under 35, and a majority are women, he said.

The goal of the campaign, he added, is to increase brand awareness.

"This will be a pretty active fall for Samsung. While we've been in the U.S. consumer market, we're relatively new in the wireless handset category," Mr. Skarzynski said. "We did a brand awareness campaign in the first quarter of last year . . . And we've had some, but a low level of, [advertising] activity through the first half of this year."

POP DISPLAYS CALL ATTENTION

Samsung Telecommunications America is a subsidiary of the $13 billion Samsung Electronics, owned by South Korea-based parent Samsung Group. Samsung Group spent $25 million in measured media in 1997; about $4 million of that was spent on phones, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Sprint PCS will not specifically promote the phone because it carries many other phone manufacturers, a Sprint spokesman said. However, point-of-purchase displays will be set up in Sprint PCS and RadioShack stores.

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