‘Imagine’ is Samsung’s brand slogan. So I ask you this, imagine one of the largest and most innovative technology companies partnering with one of the world’s busiest International airports. Surely this would be a match made in heaven, a sponsorship deal based on mutual benefit and an initiative that enhances the passenger experience. Sadly this is not the case. Samsung revealed recently that they have rebrand Heathrow’s famous Terminal 5 as ‘ The Terminal Galaxy S5’ for a two-week period. Firstly, the rebranded terminal name is terrible, an example of pure unimaginative marketing prowess. Surely ‘The Samsung Galaxy Terminal S5’ would make more sense and have more meaning to an already bemused and flustered traveller.
Now imagine the look on the face of this same passenger when they realise that there really is no benefit to them from this tie-up apart from utter confusion, obtrusive advertisements and signs directing them to Dixons where they can try out the new phone. The problem is that this marketing idea is a daft one based around basic awareness and not engagement. One that is created by one of the most daringly innovative brands of our times, it just doesn’t add up. It is really a sponsorship sell out on behalf of Heathrow who are the only ones who will be surprised and delighted when they see the benefit to their bottom line.
It also speaks volumes about Heathrow’s brand values and their mission to ‘Make every journey better‘. If they were true to their word on this, they would have encouraged Samsung to integrate the S5 into the passenger experience. Maybe create an S5 lounge and give passengers the opportunity to transfer their boarding card onto test models after security, then use the phone for the remaining waiting time at the airport, tweeting pictures and enjoying the product. Where can they run to when they are in a secure zone and their boarding card is on the phone?
In essence, this latest marketing initiative goes against both companies brand values. However, for Samsung it hits harder. The campaign is clunky, unimaginative and basic, the antithesis of what they represent. A little more imagination could have gone a long way.