Sometimes marketing promotions crash and burn. This latest from Samsung did the former while thankfully avoided the latter. Because the attempt at a high-flying attention-grabber plummeted from space to Earth and landed in someone's yard.
This wasn't the only bad marketing campaign ever to be found in the world. Like when Diesel promoted the counterfeiting of its own brand or Bud and Arby's tried so ride on the coattails of the "Storm Area 51" event that pretty well flopped.
I guess you could call that an outer space promotion after a fashion. So was what KFC did, sending a chicken sandwich into space. Well, technically the stratosphere.
Samsung was reaching high as well, by--as they put it--sending the first selfie into space. Bringing on actress Cara Delevingne as the spokes-selfie-person whose picture was to be on an S10+ phone that would be sent into space, tethered to a balloon, much the way the chicken sandwich went up.
A camera inside the capsule was pointed at the phone displaying the selfie. Then the people were invited to upload their own selfies to be displayed on the camera and beamed back down again.
Just one problem, that could well have been an issue for KFC (except they must have lucked out): Things that go up into the air generally come down.
The first people to know for sure were a Michigan couple that heard a crash on the property outside of their home, as NBC News reported.
Samsung confirmed in a statement that the device "came back down to earth," though the company described its descent as an "early soft landing in a selected rural area" that was "planned" because of weather conditions in the United States. "No injuries occurred and the balloon was subsequently retrieved," Samsung said. "We regret any inconvenience this may have caused."
Samsung completely lucked out on the "no injuries" part. How did they know exactly where the thing would crash? Oh, sorry, where it would experience an early soft landing in a selected rural area. The device could just as easily smashed into the couple's car. Or house. Or heads.
This was so far from the Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars selfie promotion that Samsung did in 2014, it might as well have been on another planet. It probably would have been better that way.
(Note to self: If you claim that you've hosted an event with "A-list" attendees and the one you mention is "Italian rapper, singer and songwriter Fedez, best known as a judge on the Italian X Factor and his 2019 hit 'Holding Out For You' featuring Zara Larsson," you're stretching A much future out into the alphabet than it usually sits.)
Okay, everyone loves a good marketing stunt. But there is that operative word of good. This one seemed dull, was risky, and ultimately tied a technology company to something that comes across like a total tech failure.
Oh, sorry, did someone just say iPhone?