Samsung enters The Matrix

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Samsung Electronics has partnered with Village Roadshow and Warner Brothers in a marketing push, via local IT distributors, using cutting-edge sci-fi movie The Matrix: Reloaded to boost its brand to people aged 18 to 35.

Lisa Herden, corporate marketing manager for Samsung Australia, said Samsung will spend “in the vicinity” of $5 million in the Australian media on its Digital Matrix initiative, including advertising on the websites of Samsung distributors Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific.

Herden said the multi-media program will include product placement in The Matrix: Reloaded which hits cinemas on May 16, and TV and magazine advertising to position all three Samsung product divisions as high-tech, fashionable accessories for the increasingly difficult-to-target 18 to 35 demographic.

The Matrix: Reloaded is a really good way to get across our digital convergence message. Our mobile phone will not just be product placement but incorporated into the story ... showcasing what we call our hero products, using The Matrix imagery to put across what we are doing with the technology,” Herden said.

The hero Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, will use a Samsung camera-phone to transport himself between the real world and the computer-generated world of The Matrix.

“Samsung [technologies] and The Matrix movies are symbols of hyper-advanced technology, the cutting edge of converging digital technologies and trend-setting style,” said Norman Krieke, Samsung GM for IT.

The movie's premiere coincides with the release of Samsung's SGH V200 camera phone, but will also be used to promote Samsung's range of laser printers, DVD and video players, TFT monitors and digital cameras. Promotions will be continued in the third Matrix movie, The Matrix Revolutions, in November.

“With our channel partners we will be promoting in particular our new range of laser printers and TFT flat panel monitors,” Krieke said.

Alan Macdonald, product manager print solutions at Samsung Australia, said the company was committed to supporting the channel. Companies that sold direct risked destroying the chance of business relationships that could be valuable in future, he said. “The channel is [potentially] worth more than not having that extra tier,” Macdonald said.

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