Update: Read the Samsung Galaxy S6 review.
Can a leopard change its spots, or am I just admiring the particularly fine sheep's clothing in which this wolf is dressed? It's too soon to judge the depth of change at Samsung, but there's certainly something different about the way the Korean company is approaching 2015. I've been keeping an eye on the teasers Samsung has been releasing for its upcoming Galaxy S6, and, well, they are not bad at all. They are subtle, enigmatic, and really tasteful. I look at them, and I start wishing to meet the humans responsible for putting them together. They seem like real swell people.
I am #TheNextGalaxy. See how I give more time to others at #Unpacked. https://t.co/zfYs03p90P— SamsungMobile (@SamsungMobile) February 17, 2015
Subtlety is not the first thing that comes to mind when discussing Samsung's marketing. Actually, the first thing that pops into my head when I think about Samsung ads is the iPhone — Samsung's best and worst commercials have been attack ads targeting Apple's smartphone. But now, with deftly engineered mystery and suggestiveness, Samsung is stirring up curiosity around its own promises of a better life through technology. There are no daft implications about iPhone users being sheep and no ridiculous cubes being toted around New York City by an adolescent Galaxy messenger.
I am #TheNextGalaxy. Be inspired by my vision at #Unpacked. https://t.co/Qu3e4L2DEg— SamsungMobile (@SamsungMobile) February 13, 2015
A dozen days from now, Samsung will unveil its latest flagship Galaxy phone, which will set the company's course for the rest of the year and beyond. Building up to such a momentous event is never easy, but Samsung has landed on a winning strategy by combining teasing blog posts from its engineers on the Samsung Tomorrow website with equally intriguing images and videos on its social channels. What makes this combo work is that we all know the Galaxy S6 is coming, so when Samsung's camera chief pledges amazing innovations and its principal mobile engineer talks about breakthroughs in wireless charging, we can attach these nonspecific promises to a specific device. I like that Samsung is setting high expectations. Good technology deserves bullish promotion just as much as bad gimmicks deserve to be exposed.
If the actual phone is as restrained and classy, 2015 will be a good year for Samsung
Samsung is doing its usual job of building up hype, but handling it with an unusual restraint and maturity. There's still time for this remarkably composed campaign to unravel into a series of inexplicable videos featuring wind turbines and businessmen playing baseball, but for now, it's an encouraging sign of a Samsung that's more in touch with its audience than it has been in years.