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Samsung ads projecting wrong image, analysts state

Samsung’s astronomical advertising spend is failing to get it value for money, with business commentators of the belief it’s projecting the wrong image through its ad campaigns.

The South Korean company’s ad campaigns, featuring the likes of Leo Messi, are expected to set it back around $14 billion this year but some state there is a disconnect between aspirations and consumer viewing of campaigns that is affecting success.

"Samsung's marketing is too much focused on projecting an image they aspire to: being innovative and ahead of the pack," said Oh Jung-suk, associate professor at the business school of Seoul National University, according to Reuters. "They are failing to efficiently bridge the gap between the aspiration and how consumers actually respond to the campaign. It's got to be more aligned."

The company ad spend, which is more than Iceland’s GDP, represents a larger percentage of annual revenue than any company in the world’s top 20 and some are arguing that in its position this, in the short term, is the best strategy.

"When your brand doesn't have a clear identity, as is the case with Samsung, to keep spending is probably the best strategy," said Moon Ji-hun, head of brand consultant Interbrand in Korea. "But maintaining marketing spend at that level in the longer term wouldn't bring much more benefit. No one can beat Samsung in terms of (ad) presence, and I doubt whether keeping investing at this level is effective."

Even with these dissenting voices there are no plans to cut spending with Samsung telling Reuters in a statement that it will "continue to leverage our brand power to maintain growth momentum, while focusing on optimizing the efficiency of our marketing activities.”

One of the problems being identified is that Samsung doesn’t excel especially well in sectors where it’s attempting to over take Apple and that making products that are different is still a problem that needs to be overcome.

"The underlying problem is that Samsung has established itself as a dependable quality brand, not a differentiated or premium quality product, so it does best where it's not competing directly with Apple," said Benedict Evans, an independent technology and media consultant in London.

Being the first to create a certain product is what it has attempted to do with both the flexible screen Galaxy Round and Galaxy Gear smartwatch, though both products have struggled for sales since being released with the technology industry already speculating as to how Apple will respond.

Image Credit: Flickr (samsungtomorrow)