The Wall Street Journal
By Nathalie Tadena
It’s been a bumpy year for Samsung. The South Korean electronics giant has taken a hit to both its profitability and smartphone market share in 2014, but there’s at least one metric the company is faring well in: the effectiveness of its advertising.
Ads promoting Samsung’s phones, televisions and computer hardware represent seven of the 15 most effective ads in the tech hardware business this year, according to research firm Ace Metrix. The tech hardware sector, as defined by Ace, includes manufacturers of cameras, computer hardware, electronics, mobile devices and televisions.
Samsung’s ads for its mobile phones have resonated well with consumers for providing appropriate and relevant information, Ace’s data shows. The brand’s “Water Resistance” spot, which highlights an important feature of the Galaxy S5 phone, had the highest creative effectiveness score in the tech hardware category, according to Ace. Samsung’s “Makes Everyday Better” ad, another spot to promote the Galaxy S5, claimed the second-highest effectiveness score among tech hardware companies while the brand’s ”Don’t Be a Wall Hugger” ad, a commercial that pokes fun at the battery life of rival Apple’s iPhones, landed in the top 10. Aside from phones, Samsung’s “Curved” ad — which uses a compilation of scenes from movies like “Clueless” and “Zoolander” to drum up excitement for the brand’s new curved-screen television– and its “Can Do” ad that touts all the things a Galaxy Pro tablet can do also scored well for effectiveness.
“Consumers thirst for information content when it comes to tech advertising,” said Ace Metrix Chief Executive Peter Daboll. “Not surprisingly, some of the best technology ads according to viewers deliver the ability to convey this meaningful information.”
Ads for Nest, Sonos, Intel, Amazon, Beats and Microsoft also landed among Ace’s top 15 most effective ads in the tech hardware space.
Informative and creative advertising, however, doesn’t always translate to big boosts in financial results. Samsung, for example, posted a 60% drop in third-quarter earnings in October amid rising competition, especially from low-cost Chinese smartphone makers. Camera maker Canon came in third on Ace’s list of the most effective tech hardware ads for its high-energy “Bring It” spot, but the company reported imaging system sales, which include digital cameras, slipped 9% in the most recent quarter as consumers continue to gravitate towards using the cameras on their smartphones instead.
In contrast, Apple, which has benefited from strong demand for its new larger-screen smartphones, is far from the top of Ace’s ranking of most effective tech hardware ads. Apple’s most effective ad, according to Ace, is its “Powerful” spot for the iPhone 5S, which came in at No. 33 of the 210 tech hardware ads on Ace’s list.
Ace measures an ad’s creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads. A sample of more than 500 people that is representative of the U.S. TV viewing audience scores each ad for traits such as persuasion, likeability and information. The list below represents the top five tech hardware ads that outperformed their product category’s year-to-date norm as of Dec. 4:
1. Samsung’s “Water Resistance”
2. Samsung’s “Makes Everyday Better”
3. Canon’s “Bring It”
4. Samsung’s “Curved”
5. Bose’s “Carry Your Music”