Yesterday, Samsung sent out a news release claiming that it was launching a "revolutionary" marketing campaign, which would see the company "dominate the world's busiest terminal by rebranding Heathrow Terminal 5 as 'Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5'." The announcement was met with widespread derision across the world, with many taking to social networks to mock the exercise as nonsense.
Signage like this will not be changed, says Heathrow Airport, despite Samsung's claims
In fact, it turns out that it was nonsense, as Heathrow Airport itself has now revealed. A spokesperson for Heathrow Airports Limited contacted Rene Ritchie from iMore to make it clear that the airport has not given permission to Samsung to completely rebrand the terminal as the tech giant's press release claimed.
Despite Samsung making it clear, in no uncertain terms, that it would completely "rebrand" the terminal with the new (albeit temporary) name, the airport spokesperson told iMore today: "Heathrow Terminal 5's signage and passenger wayfinding has not changed." This directly contradicts Samsung's announcement, which explicitly stated that the campaign would see "Samsung take over the signage, wayfinding, website and every digital screen" throughout the terminal.
Samsung will actually be renting out ad placements available to all brands, like these above the check-in area
The spokesperson added that "Samsung have rented advertising space in Terminal 5 with a tongue-in-cheek campaign using the line: 'Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5'." It may well be the first time that a single brand has rented out all of the ad space across the entirety of T5, but this is a far cry from the full rebrand of the terminal that Samsung promised in its press release.
You can read the full text of Samsung's news release below (we have highlighted key quotes in bold):
16th May 2014, London, UK – Samsung is set to dominate the world's busiest terminal by rebranding Heathrow Terminal 5 as 'Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5.' The activity, in conjunction with JCDecaux Airport, is set to raise awareness of Samsung's flagship mobile and is the first time Heathrow has permitted a brand takeover of Terminal 5.
The revolutionary two-week campaign, which kicks off on 19 May, sees Samsung take over the signage, wayfinding, website and every single digital screen at the UK's newest terminal to promote the launch of its iconic Galaxy S5 mobile. Reaching the thousands of passengers who travel through the terminal each day, this extraordinary partnership will take Samsung brand awareness to a whole new level.
Russell Taylor, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, at Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, said: "We are always looking for ways to maximise brand impact and this activity is testament to that. The partnership with Heathrow Airport and JCDecaux Airport was a one-off opportunity to push the boundaries like no other brand has been allowed to do before."
The initiative includes all signage throughout the Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5 terminal – at the entrance and drop-off locations, in the lounges, at security and at the gates. In addition, all 172 digital panels in the main terminal, gate rooms and baggage reclaim areas will feature the rebrand 'Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5' and images of the Galaxy S5 smartphone.
Online visitors to the Terminal 5 site will also experience a rebranded 'Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5' home page. In addition, signage in the airport lounges will drive passengers to the Dixons Travel stores where they can try out the phone for themselves.
Source: iMore | images via Heathrow Airports Limited