Only in Korea: on cellphones

This morning on my Twitter stream I see a tweet from the Huffington Post:  “Disappointing news for Samsung fans

Upon clicking the link and reading the headline’s first 5 words “Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung…”  I laughed.  Since the “The iPad” was released a few days ago, I expected the article to be about Samsung’s rival product.  If you don’t actually read the article, but the headline alone, you’re probably thinking, “Samsung makes ice cream now?”  The answer to that confusing question is “no”  but “yes.”  The Samsung Ice Cream Sandwich is its newest smartphone.  Only in Korea would a cellphone be named Ice Cream Sandwich.

Ever since I landed here almost 3 years ago, one of the first things I found very different were the cellphones.  Not the technology itself but the marketing aspects.  The design, the look, the branding, the commercials and the advertising.  Everything was cute, pastel colored, and had a sweet-food name.  Like, Lollipop, Cookie, Chocolate.  The ways in which the phone was advertised made it seem like it was meant for a 5-year old girl’s play-purse.  It was a striking contrast to what I was used to seeing at Verizon and AT&T.

When I looked closely at the phone I realized that I’d seen the same phones in the States but marketed under a different name and not in those colors.  Here are some examples of Korean cellphones.  Yes, they’re 1-3 years old now.  But I think it’s interesting (and a little funny) to see how the same product can be marketed so differently in varying countries.

The Cookie.  LG actually named it Cooky, but based on the advertisements I think the word intended was actually “Cookie.”  Believe it or not, this actually is a real advertisement that aired on real national TV, that is meant for real cellphone buying adults.  Please watch the commercial.  It sums up everything I want to say in 30 seconds alone.  And it’s funny.

The Lollipop.

The Bubi Bubi.  Granted, not a food name, but still adhering to the cutesy thing.

And the commercial for Bubi Bubi.

Can you imagine these commercials and ads making it in the States?  Lollipop?  Cookie?  I’m looking forward to the ads for the Ice Cream Sandwich.

Currently I have a crap phone and have yet to make the switch to a smartphone.  But when I do, the only food I’ll want is Apple.

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