Devices Opinion

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 intro video outclasses the rest of the media’s efforts

It’s Day One of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and I’m in the UK, getting organised for my flying visit to the exhibition tomorrow. I’ve spent the evening reading the various different press releases from Samsung and wondered just how they were managing the Unpacked Galaxy S5 announcements on YouTube.

I searched “Samsung Galaxy S5” on YouTube. Well, actually, I got so far as typing, “Samsung ..” and YouTube autocompleted the rest. Rather useful.

The first result? 

youtube samsung galaxy s5


I hit the down arrow and then Enter. 

I spotted this Samsung Mobile Galaxy S5 introduction video and noted it was just 3 minutes long. Short and sweet. 

I clicked and had a look at the description text:

Live from #UNPACKED in Barcelona, we go hands-on with the latest addition to the GALAXY series and the new wearables.

Join us behind the scenes with host Frankie Vu as we get up close and personal with the Samsung GALAXY S5 and Gear Fit. The new S5 is equipped with a faster, more robust camera, improved durability, a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen, finger scanner, and heart rate monitor, to allow greater integration with your day-to-day life.

“Just 3 minutes? Excellent,” I thought to myself and clicked. Note the key feature highlights are already there for me to read. 

It’s excellent. You see the very personable Frankie Vu welcome you — but without the usual third party publication gubbins. Frankie dives straight in, taking us through the features of the S5 and also giving us a bit of background on the new Galaxy Gear watch devices too. 

Here’s the video itself — 3 minutes tells you, more or less, everything you need to know about the Galaxy S5.

Time was you used to have to wait for the bloggers to get their videos edited and live. But why wait? And why risk the lack of control? Just go to the public directly with your own bloggers. Yes the video is produced by Samsung and will obviously be positive, but if you’re after information, if you’re a consumer (or a big Galaxy fan) keen to find out what’s coming, this video does a phenomenal job. There’s no messy sound. No shaking cameras filming in shitty light conditions and no, ‘errs’ and ‘emmmms’ from pressured video bloggers trying to read off a spec sheet. 

Most public relations and marketing folk know this is the way ahead. The trouble is, it’s quite a bit of commitment to go this far — you need a proper video production outfit and you need dedicated resource with the balls to get the data out there on-time without having to seek multiple approvals. If you think about the organisational logistics needed to get this video out to market, that’s a big ask for a lot of slow moving corporations. 

Still, stunning work Samsung. 

This is a problem for a lot of publications. I’ve sat through about 5 other videos from leading mobile and technology publications each doing their best to introduce the new S5. All of them are poor knock offs.

Oh, they’re fine. They do a lovely job.

But not a patch on the Samsung video. I think it’s the fact Samsung’s Frankie clearly knows his stuff. He’s rehearsed. He’s had the opportunity to perfect the delivery and get to know the specifications back-to-front. The lighting is excellent. He doesn’t look forced or sound stressed. And he’s clearly got a world class video production team sitting behind him making the output look simply effortless. 

Back in the day, when companies used to try and do this, they’d stick a slightly sweaty PR dude in front of a wobbly handycam and spend most of the video trying to be as non-corporate as possible but failing miserably. The bloggers back then did a phenomenal job of giving you access to the tech ‘there-and-then’ from the show floor, complete with the noisy high-energy atmosphere. 

Today is the first time I’ve seen a video that made me not want to bother wondering what the ‘geeks’ think. Indeed, watching the competing videos from other publications from the point of video of a semi interested consumer, I recognised that time is up for the tech geek bloggers.

I write this as being one of the chaps who, with some good eloquent colleagues, did a lot of this sort of thing years ago. It actually got so annoying trying to pitch these things on camera that we ended up just getting the PR reps to do their standard introduction on video.

There is a time for critique and opinion, yes — but not delivered more or less real-time as the chap on screen spends 9 minutes twirling the phone at you whilst he tries to think of smart things to say. Give me the basic facts now and then I’ll read-up on it later on.

Or… if I’m anything like many of Samsung’s legions of Galaxy fans, I’ve already bought it. I just wanted to know more about what I’m going to be buying.

Nice work Samsung. And to the other hardware manufacturers out there, take note — this is how you do it. By all means let the media do their own shakey-cam videos, but make sure your own friendly product pitch is front and centre, first. 

Update: Ben in the comments below reckons Samsung should have been way more blatant with the video, explaining that Frankie is giving the Samsung view as opposed to his own independent perspective. I think that’s a fair point.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

8 replies on “Samsung’s Galaxy S5 intro video outclasses the rest of the media’s efforts”

Sorry… (and with respect to Frankie Vu) I’m going to disagree. I wondered who this chap was I’d never heard of that was so comfortable in front of a camera and it turns out he’s a professional presenter hired through an agent.

He’s obviously an enthusiast too (and fair play, he does a good job) but I object (once again) to Samsung’s dishonesty. They label him as a ‘tech blogger’ as if he’s presenting his own overview of the device, but he’s not and he isn’t an established commentator offering an authoritative voice. Worse still lots of real bloggers will have struggled financially to attend and cover the event – promoting their content or sponsoring an ‘authorised’ narrative (and labeled clearly I wouldn’t object) might actually support some of the people that drive the enthusiast community and the £££ it influences.

This is ‘blogger-washing’.

Ah I thought this was pretty clear it was a Samsung-authored video, given it’s on the Samsung Mobile Youtube channel and the guy was taking us back stage and so on.
The fact that he’s not an established commentator is my point — does that individual need to be, any more? As a Galaxy fan, you’ll watch that video, nod-away and make a mental note to upgrade, no?

Sure, it’s clearly a Samsung vid but it’s not honest… It suggests ‘Frankie the tech blogger’ is going to give you his first look (and that would be fine, even if Samsung arranged it), but that’s not what happens… A professional presenter who isn’t sharing their own thoughts works from a PR script.

It’s just a few steps away from all that nonsense in recent years of fake (paid for) blog comments and instructing (real) bloggers what to write before abandoning them overseas because they wouldn’t comply. That was all Samsung, no?

Ok in that context I see your point. I didn’t think they needed to be blatant about the fact it is a Samsung produced video. I took that as read given it was on their YouTube channel.

If it’s on their channel clearly does it matter? Are consumers likely to be confused?

You and I were on the Ubuntu channel being interviewed for our opinions about their mobile stuff. I had no problem with that – we said those words and they wanted to share them. How would you have felt if they 3rd guy in the video had been an actor reading from a script?

I don’t think people will be confused, but I think they may be mislead into believing that an independent person really holds those views.

Perhaps I’m being too precious about it but it really grates when that PR / commentator line is blurred.

2 options:

1. Nokia Conversations style: “Frankie from the Samsung Social team gives a quick overview of the S5 features announced at the keynote”

2. Vox Pop: “Here are some real commentators describing their first impressions and/or interesting features”.

Just make it really clear… have you really found someone who thinks it’s exciting / beautiful / useful or is that what you hope customers will think?

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