(Note: All images shot with Samsung Galaxy Note 8)
Recently, Samsung announced its newest flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy s9 and s9+. For all of its laurels, people might be surprised to find out there is a phone function on the device. The s9 has been well-received by reviewers, especially for its latest camera upgrades. And if you look at Samsung’s S9 advertising campaign, the focus is on these upgrades. Which is great because people are using smartphone cameras at an ever increasing rate.
It also raises a question about Samsung reviving a previous digital marketing campaign. Let’s take the wayback machine back a few years, when Samsung was still making high-end cameras.
(What?? Samsung made high-end cameras?)
Yes they did, and from all reports they were solid contenders with other high-end mirrorless cameras, and other DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, and Pentax. But, alas, the market didn’t pick up on that until it was too late.
However, it looks like Samsung applied some of that camera research to their recent smartphone releases. Looking at reviews from the previous few Samsung phones, the tech world was blowing up with praise for them… (see what I did there, Samsung Note 7)
Before I go on, I’d like to point out that I switched to a Galaxy Note 8 from an iPhone 6s+ back in November, and by January I had decided to use it as my primary content creation tool for a while, putting aside my Fuji and Sony cameras.
The mobile cameras are responsive, the images look sharp and vibrant, and with the new S9 release, there’s even a variable aperture available in the wide angle lens, for use in low-light vs. daylight situations. Which can appear a little gimmicky at first, but as I’m learning with my Note 8, every little bit of light helps when you’re indoors.
Mobile photography has made an impact on the camera world. The smartphone has replaced the point and shoot camera for many people, and is currently one of the most used cameras online.
There are competitions geared towards iPhone photography, online courses teaching people how to get the most out of their smartphone cameras.
During their camera days, Samsung created the Imagelogger program – an influencer outreach campaign focused on getting Samsung cameras in the hands of a number of influential, socially connected photographers. It wasn’t just handing out free gear to people, there was more that went into being a Samsung Imagelogger, as C.C. Chapman talked about a few years ago.
So why bring this up now?
Because two of Samsung’s competitors, Apple and Google, have their own campaigns to promote content created with iPhones and Google Pixels. Heck, creatives using Apple’s iPhone have even rebranded smartphone photography – “iphoneography.”
Apple’s #madeoniphone campaign is evident every time someone walks into an Apple store, or watches an iPhone ad online or on TV.
But by all accounts, Samsung’s mobile cameras are just as good, and in some cases they are scored better, than the latest iPhones. So is it time for Samsung to resurrect the Imagelogger? It’s a great way to build a stronger community feel to the company, and promotes people who are already using their Samsung phones and want to show off their work.
Plus, Samsung has already started reaching out to a number of digital creators, letting them create art with the new S9. You can see from Samsung’s “Make Something” ad, and their responses to people online, that they are proud of their latest release, and the diversity of digital creators they reached out to to work on this project.
This is an opportunity for Samsung to bring back a campaign they created to previously promote their photographers, it’s a campaign that had some recognition, and it easy to remember (though I doubt anything will dethrone ‘iphoneography.’ And it doesn’t have to, it just needs to be memorable enough.) I think Samsung has a pretty good start with their current hashtag, #withgalaxy.