Samsung Steps Up Audio Focus With Ad Campaign

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Samsung is launching its first audiospecific advertising campaigns this year to make consumers more aware of its expanding home-audio presence and further build its home audio share.

“Consumers think of us as being a leader in TVs, smartphones and appliances, but they don’t recognize us as an audio company,” said Joe Stinziano, home entertainment senior VP at Samsung Electronics America.

In the first phase of the ad campaign, Samsung will run two print advertisements in rotation in May through August magazines — one each for the $799-suggested DAE750 audio dock and the $999-suggested HT-E6730W Blu-ray 3D 7.1 HTiB, a spokesperson said. Both are the company’s top-end products in those categories and feature vacuum- tube preamp stages. The ads will appear in Widescreen Review, Home Theater, Electronic House, Tell, Sound and Vision, Popular Science and Popular Mechanics.

The print ads will be accompanied by web ads starting in May.

The May through August campaign will be followed, likely in the fall, another spokesperson said. Like last year, the company also plans fall ads that mainly promote TVs but also include soundbars and HTiBs, she said.

The size of the ad budget was not disclosed.

In recent years, Samsung stepped up its audio presence and is meeting its “very aggressive goals,” Stinziano told TWICE. Long a player in HTiBs, Samsung entered the soundbar market several years ago, added A/V receivers in 2010, and this year launched its first docking speakers. All docking speakers feature stereo Bluetooth along with a dock for Apple’s mobile devices and a charging dock for select Samsung mobile devices. Two docking speakers combine embedded Wi-Fi with the Apple Airplay and DLNA streaming technologies.

With the launch of the vacuum-tube products, “we’re getting into the premium segment of audio,” Stinziano noted.

In ramping up its audio emphasis, the company took No. 1 share in unit and dollar sell-through in integrated HTiBs in 2009, and in 2011, the company maintained its top unit and dollar share, he said. In soundbars, the company fluctuated in 2011 between the number one and two positions in dollar sellthrough.

The company has performed well in these two categories, Stinziano contended, because of great value, innovative designs and the tendency by consumers to “match their audio systems with their TV [brand].”

Samsung has stepped up its audio focus because “we have some unique things to bring to the market,” he added. One such thing is a Sound Share feature appearing in the top two wireless docking speakers at $449 and $799. These docking speakers use stereo Bluetooth to stream music and TV-program audio from select Bluetooth- equipped Samsung TVs. With this feature, consumers can stream a TV’s Internet music services to another room or listen to TV programming in an adjacent room without turning up the TV’s volume, Stinziano said.

In 2013, Samsung “will come back into the receiver space with more focus and innovation,” having chosen to focus on wireless docking speakers and HTiBs in 2012, Stinziano said. The company is carrying over two AVRs this year, including a Blu-ray-equipped model.


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