Monday, July 15, 2013

Samsung's Crusade For The Holy Grail of Data

The moment I heard the news that Samsung would be giving away one million downloads of Jay-Z's latest album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, five days before it could be purchased in stores, I could practically hear its marketers plotting.  The plot was officially on when they said the magic word- app.

In general, apps are not built with your privacy in mind, as they're data goldmines for the marketers who are into that sort of thing. Samsung's something-for-nothing Magna Carta app would obviously be too good to be true; Magna Carta Holy Grail would really be Samsung's holy grail of consumer information.

Not only did this app give Samsung all the typical access they normally would receive when consumers downloaded an app, such as permission to read the phone’s identity, the e-mail addresses and social-media user names connected to the phone, but it also demanded permission to post on Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Thus, consumers were forced to spam their social networks with posts about the album and the supposedly benevolent smartphone company that was hooking them up.  

However, it turned out that dangling Jay-Z wasn't enough to mesmerize music fans into loving Samsung.  People actually read the terms and said no thanks. Samsung's limelight quickly soured into an embarrassingly desperate marketing ploy.

Ironically, as Samsung's Magna Carta ploy unraveled, they announced the company missed sales estimates due to "Galaxy fatigue." In other words, its marketing is quitting on them; consumers are less responsive despite increasing their 2012 expenditure by 58 percent to over $4.3 billion globally.
Interestingly, extremely popular music festivals Bonnaroo and Cochella, are taking a completely different approach, balking at major sponsors and a large revenues because they believe brands in this space would detract from the overall fan experience.  As Matt Frampton of Pitchfork Media put it, marketers lacking authenticity can become that "embarrassing uncle trying to fit into a world where he doesn't belong."

This July, uncle Samsung definitely crashed the party.

1 comment:

Nate said...

Wow, Samsung. You think they would have learned after the whole Instagram fiasco. It's amazing how the terms and conditions shape who uses something as simple as an app. Very interesting that music festivals are also stepping away from corporate sponsors because of the negative image.