Samsung’s #MoreThanJustSpeed: Is ambush marketing passé ?

ambush marketing campaign

Samsung’s ambush marketing campaign was at the receiving end as the brand decided to take on OnePlus 6’s launch with an extensive marketing attempt.

OnePlus went full throttle in the launch and promotion of their upcoming model, OnePlus 6 with the tagline – The Speed You Need.

Samsung took the ambush marketing route, with #MoreThanJustSpeed, across all media platforms. Right from a Google Ad to a promoted tweet, Samsung took up on OnePlus’ campaign.

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While it might have worked in terms of brand awareness or mentions, Samsung attracted flak from disgruntled consumers as well as OnePlus loyalists who responded with negative comments and trolls.

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Social Samosa has reached out to Samsung for comments.

Also Read: Samsung shares why #MomsLoveNonStop

This isn’t the first time an ambush marketing or front foot marketing initiative has gone wrong. Recently, ITC’s B Natural Juices launched an attack on arch rivals Tropicana by PepsiCo and Real by Dabur. Followed by a print ad, the Twitter confrontation of the brands wasn’t responded with the furore that ambush marketing usually does.

Expert Opinion

“The whole idea behind ambush marketing is to be smart, clever, and witty,” said Anil K Nair, CEO & Managing Partner Digital L&K Saatchi & Saatchi. “When you crack a joke it needs to be funny and relevant.”

Nair explains that in the digital day and age, there is where little margin for error, if it works, it’ll work immediately, but if it doesn’t there is immediate backlash.

“The audience doesn’t like when brands try to get mean, nasty or opportunist. Having said that, trolls to eventually phase out and the negative reaction eases out.

Nikhil Chawla of The Unbiased Blog echoes a similar thought that brands need to be witty as compared to nasty.

“What Samsung India did by buying a promoted trending hashtag – #WhySettleForJustSpeed is the best and most recent example of how nasty things can get if you fail to humor the consumer and try to be defensive/offensive,” Chawla told Social Samosa. “First and foremost it was a mistake by Samsung India to buy a promoted trend. If it doesn’t trend organically you are pushing too hard and it is most likely to backfire. Next was the choice of words, Samsung knows the weakness in its products and instead of covering them under the rug they highlighted it. They are very well aware that their smartphones starts lagging after a few months of usage but still decided to tease OnePlus for its speed.”

Chawla further explained that if you search the hashtag you would see 95% tweets are mocking them for the lag issues, people even decided to burn them with infamous Galaxy Note 7 blast issues and even loyal Samsung users/fans have tweeted that they are unhappy the way Samsung tried to pull of this marketing gimmick.

“In my opinion, if Samsung really had to take a dig on a competition brand then they should have pointed out its strength like the number of service centres they have, the offline availability of their products or the number of patents they have,” Chawla says.


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