A major part of Samsung’s success is attributed to its large marketing spend, but in 2013, Samsung’s ad spend in the US was down 10 percent year over year, while Apple’s US ad spend was up 5 percent.
The result? The gap between Samsung and Apple’s advertising spend, which was $68 million in 2012, reduced to just $12 million in 2013.
Last year, Apple spent about $351 million on total U.S. wireless phone advertising, up 5% from $333 million, according to Kantar Media. It spent more on TV ads last year than its entire 2012 budget, spending $339 million on TV ads in 2013, up 15% from 2012 TV ad spending.
Samsung spent about $363 million on all U.S. mobile phone ads, down 10% from $401 million, the only top device maker that cut U.S. ad spending.
One explanation of Samsung’s high ad-spend in 2012 was that the company’s top priority in that year was to beat Apple, by increasing its “Galaxy branding” through ads. Some of Samsung’s ads were in fact good enough to attract praise from Apple exec Phil Schiller in private emails.
Nokia was a surprise third in the rankings with spendings of $221 million, 15 times more than its spend in 2012. This increase perhaps has something to do with Microsoft’s purchase of the company’s devices division in September 2013. Motorola, another handset that was acquired, came in fourth with $189 million. BlackBerry and HTC followed with a spending of $90 million and $76 million respectively.
The total ad spend by the 7 top smartphone makers in the US totalled $1.3 billion, up from $1 billion in 2012.