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How Samsung Upstaged Apple During the Launch of iPhone 5

Aggressive Marketing Has Kept Korean Handset Maker Top of Mind

By Published on . 6

For years buzz about the release of every new iPhone has dominated the web for weeks before and after launch -- and Apple had to do very little to spark that massive interest. But this time something has shifted.

While Apple conversation dominated consumer and tech media when the iPhone 5 was announced the week of September 12, Samsung upstaged it the first week it was on sale.

Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung's campaign for the Galaxy S III, a phone released in June, beat out Apple on Viral Video Chart this week. The Galaxy S III campaign snagged 13.2 million views. And although the campaign had been on the chart for three weeks prior to this one, the iPhone launch helped it increase its views more than seven times and jump from No. 5 to No. 1.

Samsung's products might not cause the kind of frenzy that Apple's products do, but the company's marketing has created waves by taking jabs at its biggest competitor. "The Next Big Thing is Already Here," the most popular creative from a campaign created by 72andSunny in Los Angeles, pokes fun at iPhone fans camping out in line for the newest phone. At the same time it points out some of the features that Apple is touting, like a larger screen and 4G, are already available on the Galaxy S III. It's the kind of humorous approach that online video audiences love.

In contrast to the lighthearted campaign, Apple's iPhone 5 campaign introduced its new phone features in a seven-minute video that is less entertaining, but very informational. It is the kind of creative viewers have come to expect from a new Apple product. It garnered 3.6 million views, dropping from No.3 to No.5 in its second week.

Now that Apple has come out with its own jab back at Samsung, we'll see if it's enough to reverse the momentum.

But it's not just this week in which Samsung has come out on top. Since Apple announced the iPhone 5 on September 12, Samsung has beat out Apple on total views across campaigns. The Korean company garnered 26 million views on all of its smartphone campaigns, with 15.7 million of those coming from the Galaxy S III campaign. Apple earned 11.1 million views on its smartphone campaigns, with 10.6 million attributed to the new iPhone campaign.

It seems apparent that Apple can't rely on buzz alone anymore, especially with Samsung going after it with an aggressive marketing approach. Since the beginning of August, the Korean company launched five different campaigns, including one starring James Franco, and has appeared as a top 10 branded viral video 17 times. That's two campaigns on the chart every week in the last two months, with the exception of one week. Those five campaigns snagged a total of 54.1 million aggregated views.

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