They say you have to spend money to make money, and Samsung is the living proof that’s more than a tired cliché, as the Seoul-based multinational conglomerate company is reportedly close to top $14 billion expenses on marketing for the whole of 2013.
How big is that number? Let’s put it in perspective, shall we? For one thing, it’s bigger than Iceland, Senegal, Armenia and Macedonia’s GDPs. Meaning Samsung shells out more dough on billboards, cinema ads, TV product placement and whatnot than the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced in each of those four above mentioned countries.
Mind-boggling? That’s certainly one way to put it. And if you’re not impressed, how about this – $14 billion are the all-time worldwide earnings of the ten highest grossing movies in the history of cinema. Combined.
Or, if you will, $14 billion is Apple’s advertising budget for, you guessed it, 14 years. But talking about Apple, Samsung can’t be fully content with the return on that “investment”, since Cupertino spends roughly $1 billion a year on marketing, yet its global brand value is close to $100 billion, more than twice its rival’s ($39.6).
Reuters, the source of the $14 billion number, which by the by is $1 billion north of previous estimates, actually insists on making the point the current Android king often splashes the cash recklessly. Like during the New York Galaxy S4 unveiling event, when the Koreans were publicly chastised for sexism. Or, if I might add, with confusing, silly commercials such as the Icelandic one (sorry about your GDP, guys) from a while back.
No reason to start feeling sorry for the Galaxy makers, however, as they remain one of the most well-oiled cash-making machines in the world. It’s just they may want to be careful of not going overboard one of these days. After all, last year the tech behemoth spent $12 billion on the same marketing and advertising department, so at this rate they could soon surpass the GDP of Serbia, Cuba, New Zealand and maybe even Canada.