Samsung's Ad Budget Grew By 5X To $401 Million Last Year, Crushing Apple

samsung galaxy s iii commercialOne of Samsung’s Apple bashing ads

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Samsung increased its U.S. ad budget by 5X last year, spending $401 million, up from $78 million the year before, according to data from ad research firm Kantar Media.That budget puts it $68 million ahead of Apple in the U.S., says the Wall Street Journal. It’s $277 million ahead of HTC, its closest Android phone making competitor.

Kantar’s ad spending tracks TV, billboards, Internet and print media spending, which is only part of Samsung’s overall marketing budget.

The Journal reports wireless carrier executives say Samsung spends a lot on “below the line” marketing, which is in-store marketing for its phones, as well as paying for training of carrier’s salespeople.

Then there’s the lavish launch parties Samsung throws. Last year when it released the Galaxy Note II, a 5.5-inch phone-tablet it rented a huge space in New York City and had Kanye West perform. It also handed out Notes to everyone that attended.

Samsung’s advertising and marketing have worked. Whereas it was just another phone maker in 2011, today it’s a brand that is mentioned in the same breath as Apple.

Update: Tech/teleco analyst Benedict Evans says on Twitter that Samsung only spends 10 per cent of its ad budget on the U.S., as compared to Apple, which spends ~33 per cent of its budget in the U.S. This adds some context to how much Samsung is spending.

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