OMGWTF Branding Fail: New Samsung Phone Is Called the :) -- No Lie

Last Updated Jun 24, 2010 10:57 AM EDT

Evidently Microsoft (MSFT) Kin promoters aren't the only ones struggling to be hip nowadays. Samsung announced its new phone called -- wait for it -- :). (In case you didn't get it, that's the abbreviated smiley-face emoticon.) It's not only hard to say -- literally -- it's also hard to search on, and hardly seems cool.

Adam Frucci at Gizmodo:

Normally, we don't take much notice of low-level Samsung messaging phones, but when they call it the :), it's tough to ignore. Yes, Samsung has named one of their phones an emoticon. They hear the kids just love 'em!... I'm just curious as to how you're supposed to pronounce this. The smiley? The colon-parentheses? The poor marketing decision?

So, let's think about some additional problems. First, how is word of mouth supposed to spread? On one hand, the unique name does have people (yes, me included) discussing the product. At least in print (or, on the Web, "print"). But outside of Facebook or Twitter or some other social network -- or email, I suppose -- how exactly are customers supposed to tell their friends about the :)? I guess Samsung thinks they'll come up with their own pronounceable name for it, whatever that might be.

Second, how are customers supposed to find the device? Younger consumers are more likely to purchase online than go into a carrier or tech store. Do a Google (GOOG) search for :) and it doesn't even recognize it. And even if it did, the response would be a list of the millions, if not billions of smiley face emoticon instances over the years -- probably with a majority dating back to 1997.

Finally, how is this cool? By naming the phone after a tech trend, Samsung has already given the phone an extremely short shelf life. Worse, the smiley face emoticon jump the shark several tech ages ago.

Samsung would have been better off calling the phone the LOL, which describes what consumers will probably do. At least the name would be searchable.

Photo courtesy of stevendepolo Related:
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