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Samsung's ads are working, but not as well as it wants

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Weird Samsung Iceland ad
Weird Samsung Iceland ad

Relentless advertising has helped Samsung take top spot in the global smartphone market, but it's also given the company another title: it's one of the biggest ad spenders around. According to Reuters, Samsung spends a far larger percentage of its annual revenue on promotion than any of the world's other top-20 companies by sales. Last year, it reportedly spent $4.3 billion on ads — thoroughly dwarfing Apple's spending of just $1 billion — and this year, Samsung is expected to vastly exceed that with spending of around $14 billion on promotion.

But Reuters reports that the huge marketing push hasn't necessarily been effective. A number of Samsung's campaigns and promotions have been panned, and they still haven't perfectly sold consumers on the image of innovation that it's looking for. "When your brand doesn't have a clear identity, as is the case with Samsung, to keep spending is probably the best strategy," Moon Ji-hun, managing director at brand consultant Interbrand, tells Reuters. Reuters takes a look at Samsung's latest advertising efforts — including its planned push of the poorly reviewed Galaxy Gear smartwatch — and reports that so much spending may be more needed for a company with such varied products.