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Samsung, LG 3D TV Fight Gets Nasty Marketing Secrets Revealed

Early adopters of LG and Samsung 3D TVs which were launched last year appear to have had their fingers burnt after both Samsung and LG told an Australian court that new 3D technology is now superior to what was on offer last year.

It’s also been revealed that men who are looking to buy a TV search via the Internet while women visit a store.

The court case in the Federal Court (See original story here), which has escalated the feud between the two Korean giants over whose 3D TV technology is superior, revealed that in 2010, Samsung captured over 50% of the Australian 3D TV market with their active shutter 3D TV technology.

Seeking an application to have several LG passive 3D TV commercials banned, Samsung executives have told the court that LG’s share was significantly smaller and that LG had not captured as many “early adopters.”

The Federal Court heard that between April and June each year, major TV companies like Samsung and LG move to try and grab an advantage by launching TVs packed with what is sold as new generation technology.

Critical is a major advertising campaign in the media. Hence, Samsung launched its active-technology products in April 2010 in an effort to capture demand for NRL and AFL games that were being put to air live in 3D.

LG told the court that they launched their passive 3D TV technology products with a series of advertisements that began to go to air on May 1st this year. Shortly afterwards, Samsung moved to stop the commercials, claiming that they were misleading.

Judge Rares of the Federal Court described the consumers who purchased Samsung’s 3D TVs in 2010 as “early adopters.”
 
“On the evidence, Samsung’s active-technology 3D televisions placed it in a leading position in the Australian market from March 2010 to March 2011 with significant market share of over 50%. In contrast, although LG was then marketing its active-technology televisions, its market share was considerably smalle,” he said.

Samsung told the court that it was seeking to protect the advantages that it had gained with the early adopters in 2010 by launching new 3D active technology in 2011.

A big spoiler for Samsung’s strategy was when LG rolled out a major advertising campaign that the court heard will run between May 2011 and October 2011. Samsung claimed that the commercials were deceptive and misleading.

The court was told that the price range of the 3D televisions on the Australian market is between about $1,700 and $3,300. Marketing expert evidence presented suggests that the purchase of a 3D television is not an impulse purchase but one made by persons who will investigate the product to some degree before purchasing.

The court was told that the LG campaign was directed at males of between 25 and 54 years of age and that males are more likely to search on the internet, including searching for information from the manufacturer’s website prior to visiting a shop, in order to purchase these products.

Females begin their investigation of a new TV by visiting the shop in the first instance. However, the most influential information source for all potential purchasers was the store, especially the sales person, where inquiries were ultimately made.

After viewing the four LG commercials, Judge Rares said that a store experience and the information given to consumers when they went to buy a new 3D TV commercial played an important part in the purchase process.

“The advertisements convey a light-hearted or humorous approach to the comparison of the two products: active technology (or conventional) and passive technology 3D televisions. That does not mean that ridicule or humour cannot be a very powerful and persuasive weapon. Humour can be deployed by an advertiser to induce loyalty to its product or to disparage its competitors,” he said.

“Again, it is the way in which the humour is used and the likely impressions to be left with the consumer that must be weighed in all the circumstances, in order to determine whether there is a sufficient likelihood that, at the trial, the representations will be found to have been conveyed and also be found to be misleading or deceptive.”

The judge ordered that Samsung’s application for interlocutory relief be refused. He also ordered that Samsung pay 80% of the respondent’s costs.