Launch Talk: What You Can Learn from the iPhone 5 Launch

September 13, 2012

No one launches products like Apple, and you can learn a lot from their hugely successful Apple Conference 2012 event. These events have become so iconic, they have truly changed the game when it comes to press conferences.

SA’s EVP Julie Hall and marketing coordinator Noel Fisher discuss how Apple manages to build buzz and gain media attention using the very traditional press conference.

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The Palm Pre vs. The iPhone 3GS

June 16, 2009

iPhone vs Pre

The first week in June was huge for techies and Smartphone lovers, as two of the most highly anticipated launches promised both fierce competition and delight for users. On Saturday, June 6th, Sprint users lined up for the Palm Pre Smartphone. In the 1990s, Palm led the way with handheld computers and made headlines with the Palm Treo, but recently Palm has been overshadowed by Apple’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry. Palm hopes the launch of the Pre will help reestablish brand relevance. Just two days after the release of the Pre, Apple unveiled the iPhone 3GS, which becomes available June 19. Palm and Apple are both sure to advertise heavily, but are embarking upon two different strategies.

BREAKDOWN: Palm Pre vs. Apple iPhone 3GS

Palm Pre and the iPhone 3GS have been trending topics on Twitter for the several weeks. Palm was quick to use social media in its marketing campaign, launching the Pre on Facebook. The visually stimulating, 60-second ad, shot in China with a Zen-like theme, plays on viewer emotions and demonstrates how the phone can manage the user’s life with ease using the breezy, glide-touch screen.

Ad executives unofficially estimated that Palm spent $50 to $75 million on its ad campaign, but are also relying on the buzz created on social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to amplify the chatter about the product. Sprint (Pre’s carrier) has even plugged Twitter into their “Now Network” campaign, hoping to appeal to early adopters on social media sites.

Apple, already a dominant presence, holds 20% of the U.S. Smartphone market, second only to Research In Motion (RIM) which holds 55%. In 2008, Apple spent $486 million on advertising, and it’s safe to assume with the rise of the iPhone 3GS, 2009 will follow that trend. Apple hired movie director, David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) to direct the advertising for the 3GS, which takes center stage in the commercial, unlike the Pre in Palm’s spot. Currently, Apple does not maintain a presence on Twitter and its advertising far outshines their Facebook Page.

With society becoming more active in social media, but still engaged by traditional PR and advertising tactics, which launch to do you think will be more successful? Is it the campaign or the product that will win the day?


The Sprint Instinct: A for Effort

July 9, 2008

The new Sprint Instinct has launched, and to most consumers it will be seen as another iPhone copy-cat that has more cons than pros. Despite this, one thing is for sure – Sprint is certainly trying. This week Sprint launched the “Sell Out with Sprint” video campaign, which asks consumers to send in the “greatest product placement movie of all time.” The campaign is asking users to create home and post home videos to YouTube, using the Instinct as obvious product placement. The first 1,000 videos will receive $25 from Sprint.

According to the campaigns creative director, Christian Haas, the slogan “Sell Out with Sprint” is asking users to “Sell out Hollywood style, letting your integrity go, for cold hard cash.” The way I see it, this campaign is a low risk, high reward tactic. It gives Sprint a chance to reach out to consumers and offers them the chance to be creative. Sprint could have just continued running a series of ads featuring reasons why it is better than the iPhone, but there’s the who cares factor. Nobody will buy the Instinct over the iPhone, just because the internet might be a little faster or because it might be slightly more petite; the iPhone is the 800 pound guerilla that will not be taken down, especially now that it costs only $199.

“We needed to be able to talk about the features with a sense of humor because the iPhone is one of the most desired products that has come out in a long time,” Hass explained. “We needed a platform that we can talk about the features without being an infomercial.” Sprint might not be the best product available, but that’s not always what makes a product memorable. If this campaign can catch fire, and cause a stir in the media and online, it will give the Instinct a lift to possibly become a Most Memorable product for 2008.

The contest runs through August 1st, and the finalists will be voted on and picked by August 8th. After that, the public will pick a winner, and voting will end August 22nd.