Samsung Mobile CMO, Todd Pendleton, has reportedly departed the company, according to CNET. Pendleton is credited with creating Samsung’s famous “Next Big Thing” campaign, which took aim at the company’s rivals while highlighting the benefits of its own mobile lineup. The ads were smart, terse, and ultimately helped raise the awareness of Samsung’s brand as a major smartphone maker here in the U.S.
It’s unclear why Pendleton left, but it’s being reported that Samsung executives became dissatisfied with the campaign’s recent success, even going so far as auditing the mobile division’s Dallas headquarters. It seems you can only use the Next Big Thing tagline so many times; the commercials have taken a decidedly different turn over the past few months, focusing on design, functionality and features rather than bashing Samsung competitors.
The timing, I suppose, seems appropriate given that Samsung has just unveiled two new flagships, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Samsung is clearly heading in a new direction, and either Pendleton was no longer needed, or his vision didn’t jive with the company’s overseas executives.
Samsung sales have been very disappointing over the past few months, so the marketing behind its new devices will be crucial. One of Samsung’s largest rivals, Apple, has seen incredible success with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, so the company’s new flagships are more important than ever as Samsung looks to rebound from a poor 2014.
The early Next Big Thing ads were a major part of Samsung’s rise to the top of the smartphone heap. They were clever, funny and made their point at the expense of Apple fans; essentially the perfect storm as far as Samsung was concerned.
Pendleton’s departure hasn’t been confirmed by Samsung, but it certainly sounds like he’s in search of a new gig.