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Reuters reports that Samsung is expected to spend a massive $14B on advertising & marketing this year, accelerating a trend seen earlier in the U.S., but questions both the value and the strategy.

Samsung spends a bigger chunk of its annual revenue on advertising and promotion than any other of the world’s top-20 companies by sales – 5.4 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. Apple spends just 0.6 percent, and General Motors 3.5 percent […]

But, while Samsung has become the world’s biggest advertiser, spending $4.3 billion on ads alone last year, its global brand value of $39.6 billion is less than half that of Apple, which spent only $1 billion on advertising, according to Interbrand and ad researcher Ad Age.

Brand experts say the spend is probably driven by Samsung’s desire to change its image from a fast-follower – a company that spots new ideas from competitors and quickly launches its own version – to an innovator … 

Interbrand’s Moon suggests this is also why the company rushed to market with a smartwatch that has been widely panned in reviews.

Probably Samsung knows better than anyone that Gear will not become a mainstream product. Still, they are trying to convey the message that ‘we are first with such technology,’ which they hope will help build their brand as an advanced technology firm,” said Interbrand’s Moon Ji-hun.

Reuters also points to some of Samsung’s more memorable publicity flops, such as it’s absurdly blatant product placement in the UK X-Factor show and behind-the-scenes videos of a short film contest at the Sydney Opera House. The company similarly did itself no favours with an cringe-worthy Galaxy S4 launch presentation portraying women as being interested only in jewellery, nail-polish, dieting and marrying doctors …

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