Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Flip or fold? NDA talks new foldables with Samsung’s Annika Bizon

Samsung recently unveiled its fifth generation of Galaxy foldable smartphones: the Galaxy Z Flip5 and Galaxy Z Fold5 models. The new range was launched at Samsung’s global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, and live-streamed to stores around the world, including Samsung’s King’s Cross store in London. 

New Digital Age chatted with Annika Bizon, Marketing and Omnichannel Director of UK and Ireland at Samsung Electronics UK, to find out more…

How did the London launch event go?

It was really fabulous. This was the first time we’ve done a global launch from our home city of Seoul, so we wanted to celebrate that. We turned our King’s Cross store into a Korean inspired space, including a real blossom tree. On the day, we had around 240 attendees, made up of invited partners, press and influencers. It was nice to do something across the entire trade, instead of working with a single retailer. 

We actually launched four products on the day. As well as the new iterations of our foldable range, we launched our Tab S9, our latest tablet, and Watch6, our latest smart watch, which opens up some exciting possibilities in terms of tracking your health, your sleeping habits and your general well-being as an individual.

Typically speaking, in 2023, who are the early adopters of new tech products like these?

It’s a real mix to be honest because our foldable phones have very different target consumer groups. With the Flip5, which is the smaller device, the front is also a complete screen, lending itself to hands-free functionality. From a marketing point of view, our recent campaigns have had to hit lots of different audiences in relevant ways. One size fits all was never going to work.

If I look at the consumer demographics around who’s buying these, it’s a real mixed bag. The whole concept of the folding phone is becoming more functional in many ways. It’s about productivity, being able to view on a bigger screen, and having multi screen capabilities on your phone. These devices are also now incredible spaces for mobile gaming. ‘Note devices’ seem to be making a bit of a comeback too, so the S Pen feature of our latest models is proving very popular. 

Your recent ‘Join the Flipside’ campaign seemed to encourage switching to Samsung – is that a big focus for you at the moment?

The whole campaign is basically saying ‘try us’, making clear that we’re a bit different and giving people a chance to try out the foldable category. Not many commercials position the brand as ‘the bad guys’ like this one, but when you are talking to younger audiences, they don’t want a standard approach. They want a little bit of quirk in there and a little bit of difference. 

The feedback we’ve had from the campaign has honestly been so positive, all across the world. In response, yes, we have seen a lot of switching, in part because people like what we have to say.

What opportunities do the new generation of foldables open up for marketers? 

With the Fold5, in particular, its large screen means users can look at a number of different things at the same time. We tend to live our lives with multiple apps open simultaneously these days. The Fold5 is, in part, a response to that. 

So a display ad could link to social posts, reviews or to a retail outlet’s site, and you could be looking at them all together on the one screen. From an advertising point of view, there’s an opportunity to get a better view of the customer journey and then help shape those journeys more effectively.