Heathrow says Terminal 5 signage, wayfaring haven't changed, Samsung being 'tongue-in-cheek'

Heathrow says Terminal 5 signage and branding haven't changed, Samsung being 'tongue-in-cheek'

Yesterday Samsung announced that they'd be kicking off a "revolutionary" campaign that would involve them "taking over signage, wayfinding, website, and every digital screen" at Heathrow's incredibly busy Terminal 5 and "rebranding" it as "Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5". iMore has since been informed that Samsung's "take over" is actually a far more reasonable, more standard form of advertising. In response to my complaints yesterday that, as described, the marketing could cause confusion and consternation for travelers, Heathrow sent along the following statement (emphasis mine):

"Heathrow Terminal 5's signage and passenger wayfinding has not changed," a Heathrow spokesperson told iMore. "Samsung have rented advertising space in Terminal 5 with a tongue-in-cheek campaign using the line: 'Terminal Samsung Galaxy S5'."

Samsung hasn't taken over any signage or branding at Terminal 5 but are simply renting existing advertising placements in the terminal, those that are available to anyone.

Here's Samsung's original announcement (emphasis again mine):

"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."

Hyperbole is common in press releases. The reality, thankfully, is better for everyone involved.

Update 1: Heathrow updated their statement to correct a typo.

Update 2: Here a sample of the Samsung marketing, courtesy of @ sorinc03 which does indeed look conventional enough.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Heathrow says Terminal 5 signage and branding haven't changed, Samsung being 'tongue-in-cheek'


So Samsung's PR delivered a less than accurate accounting of what was to happen? Gee... imagine that... Samsung being something other than truthful... they'd never do that would they? (typed in sarcasm font...)

Shocking, isn't it? I mean, because Samsung is just the bestest thing to ever happen in the history of the world....

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And that got them what exactly? Aside from a bunch of eye rolling....

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exactly what they wanted. Hence the point of the ad. Care to name the last airport terminal sign that generated this much press?

No, I don't care to mention because, I, along with about 95% of the normal population couldn't care less. Again, as I stated before, it's just a bunch of eye rolling at the stupidity.

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Oh puh-leez.

Samsung's past behavior aside, this particular incident reflects far less on Samsung than on those sites that breathlessly reported a marketing statement as truth without bothering to confirm either with Samsung or Heathrow.

Whether this was confirmation bias due to Samsung's bad history, digging for an angle to make Samsung look bad, or just lazy journalism, it is shameful.

I look forward to the next hard-hitting piece, "Costanza officially rebrands July as 'Summer of George'

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So nobody verifies anything before posting anymore? These sites(imore included) are so quick to run and copy/paste a story from somewhere else? Hm.
Not to mention this shouldn't come as a surprise coming from samsung

Well, it came right from Samsung.. how more direct do you get? ROFL!

Why would anyone assume they were lying about their own advertising?

I do find it absolutely hilarious that everyone here gets so bent out of shape when the name Samsung is mentioned, lol. It's like Samsung personally took a crap in your front yard and dunked your phone in it or kicked your dog, lol.

Ha so true. There is so much hate (especially from Rene) toward Samsung. It's almost like Samsung peed in his Cheerios to make him so bitter

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No, what's hilarious is how much time roidboys spend here looking for a way to get their troll jollies in for the day. Get a life, fellas.

It's quite funny (or pathetic.) I've never even visited an Android site much less felt the need to join and post comments.

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It is pathetic that I'm not allowed to post an observation without being called out of my name from who I think are grown men and women. You must think you're better than people because you use iOS products. You guys crack me up.

You should see the forums, they are even worse. They blast "new guys" who ask questions and wonder why people act how they do toward IOS users. I have an iphone, use a nexus tablet, and have a Mac. Guess I'm not the imore type since I am not fully entrenched with apple so I'll probably get called a "troll" for this

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I haven't called anyone names. Do I find the act of coming here and making trollish comments pathetic? Absolutely. You can take that however you'd like.

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Fair enough. I'll stop. I've detracted from the purpose of this article enough. Sorry, if I offended you.

Now now, he's just following suit of the great kch50428 and the warm, inclusive community of iMore. Oh who am I kidding. It's hardly worth posting here or WP Central, you'll just get blasted for not being in their camp 100%. I'm straddling an iPhone, a Windows tablet, and a Chromebook and it feels like I'm getting called a troll or stooge everywhere I go. I appreciate the excellent content but Mobile Nations needs to get rid of the cross-community distrust.

How about starting by enforcing that "calling someone a troll is trolling" rule?

+9000 to this. Name calling should be banned. It's counterproductive to Mobile Nations as a whole.

But, as to the comment regarding Keith and this site in general, the atmosphere isn't that bad ;)

I really do try to help when I can but sometimes it's hard to sit by idly when people get ragged on for a choice of device, OS, or even browser. This stuff is trivial and it's turning into a detriment to an otherwise great network if sites.

Edit: It's hard to get over Keith, a global moderator, implying I came to "stir the pot" in response to one of my first few posts in iMore. I also feel discouraged to post because he's got strong opinions and, while he's entitled to them, I feel like I'll just get blasted again. The communities are mostly okay but there's enough "if you're not for us you're against us" mentality to turn me off of participation. It puts me in a hot spot as a Trusted Menber.

Ya know, as much as we all beef on these websites as to what operating system or ecosystem is the best, if I met any of the people in person that have ever called me a troll, we'd probably get along great. Hell, we'd probably go out and grab drinks. The anonymity of the Internet truly does have its own identity.

That's the sad part. If everyone would just et past that I'm sure we'd have a grand time. It's just a shame when you consider it. I still believe it'll improve. For now I'll just keep lurking and try to post where and when I can.

I really don't care what atoms and bits are in your pocket. I've owned most Nexus phones, including the current Nexus 5, I own a Lumia 1020 and a BlackBerry Z10 as well.

I love technology and I want the best from all tech companies.

Fighting over platforms is dumb. They should be fighting over us. Which is why I suggested Samsung provide drinks or some other service — that benefits us.

It's easy to fall into the hate trap. Coke vs. Pepsi, Marvel vs. DC. People are tribal, I get it.

I have a Samsung TV in my podcast studio. It works great.

I just want better from everyone. Don't you?

Absolutely! I apologize if I've offended you or anyone here in any way, shape, or form. I enjoy your articles, Rene. And, even if i don't necessarily agree with you, I try to see things your way because you offer a different and unique perspective! I can be close-minded sometimes, and I apologize for my comments. I won't be offended if you delete them.

Of course. I don't have any beef with ou personally Rene, you've never done anything to make that so. Yet there's still a lot to discourage me from participating in the Mobile Nations communities. There must be some way to facilitate more community and avoid that hate trap.

You tell him Rene. Hey DC sucks. Just kidding. Listen one of the reasons I came to iMore as a new iPhone and iPad owner was I just couldn't stand the negativity on most other tech sites. Yeah we may have some spats here and there but this site rocks. And Rene you are welcome to your opinion any day. I would listen to you anytime over the 'clowns' that pass as professional journalist in the more popular rags.

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I have a life, and an iPad Mini with Retina display. So, according to your definition, I'm allowed to post here. The fact that you played the troll "card" only proves that I struck a nerve and am right. You get a life.

"took a crap in your front yard and dunked your phone in it or kicked your dog"--talk about getting bent out of shape!

The fact you played the "you played the troll 'card'" card only proves that it is I that struck a nerve. But, hey, it's good to hear you have at least a mini life.

No, I just get tired of the crap thrown at either iMore staffers when the criticize Apple competitors or other posters who offer a little harmless sarcasm at a HUGE corporation's expense. Also getting pretty tired of the "drank the kook-aid" card.

Anyway, no worries. No harm, no foul. Peace.

I think the comment Mercdroid made was in a playful/sarcastic manner. I took no offense to it and I thought it was hilarious. The tone I got from the comment was far from offensive & it definitely isn't troll-worthy. Just my opinion.

Yep like they are surprise we are bias on a Apple blog site. Why do they even bother to check iMore anyway and then troll no less. Can't remember the last time I was over at Android Central. Oh yes 3 years ago when I had a Motorola phone. As for 'Samdung' @&$€ you. Nuff said.

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I don't really take issue with Rene or his original article. In fact, I actually agreed with parts of it. What I take issue with is commenters going on a fanboy rage with no rhyme or reason. We both use iOS products, but we're not allowed to post here because we haven't drank the kool aid, lol.

Who says you're not allowed to post here? PLEASE POST HERE.

There's nothing better than intelligent, informed debate.

Keep it classy and tell me when/as you disagree. I'd love to learn.

It is the same on Android Central when Apple is mentioned. It works both ways, except AC is probably worse.

I won't deny that. Hell, mention Apple on Android Central, Crackberry, or Windows Phone Central and you've got yourself a damn good show. Be sure to have popcorn and alcohol.

It's because Samsung for the most part is an unscrupulous company. And except for designated sites like iMore, AppleInsider most other tech blogs bend the news in a way that is typically anti-Apple. So shoot us if we are passionate about Apple products. Also with regard to the article obviously if Heathrow didn't think Samsung bent the truth a bit much in a way that might confuse passengers it wouldn't have issued a statement. I think however they lurketh a troll somewhere inside of you. Hey we are Apple bias here so get use to it. :-)

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In fairness to Rene, I think his original article makes some good points. It's relatively easy to just take over all the signage in the terminal. It's much harder, and much more tasteful, to place ads or do things for possible customers that make you remember them during your next purchase. Samsung took the easy road.

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Why "never?" Things change. In the US, they probably won't. But, whose to say that they don't offer a similar level of customer service in their home country?

Well, 'NEVER' will be hard to prove. But let's agree that, to this point, Samsung has failed to show an interest in such things.

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Just the usual Samsung misleading 'viral' marketing rubbish...

Why don't they just use half of their marketing budget ($7 billion?) on something useful to the world like better healthcare or clean energy...

Would win them so much more respect.

all i can say is thank god samsung haven't brought Heathrow terminal 5 and turned into a very expensive advert

I can't help but wonder what would be the tone of the article if Apple had done this a couple of years before and branded the terminal "Terminal iPhone 5". I suspect "brilliant", "innovative" and "awesome" would be some of the terms appearing on that immaginary piece.

I, for one, could not care less. All airports are confusing anyway, so to call it Terminal 5 or Terminal Galaxy S5 its the same for me. Sports statiums do that all the time and no one gets lost or misses a game.

But apple didn't. Somebody else did. Let's do something big and flashy coz no publicity is bad. Not drowning, waving....

The sad/hilarious part of this is that Apple has done many of these sorts of ad buy-outs of major transit stations. They've just never bothered to put out a press release talking about how much money they're spending on advertising.

So basically Samsung's marketing is so good it got all the apple sites reporting on it and complaining about it as if it's news.
Way to go samsung...

So way to go Samsung spending millions (billions) dollars just to troll Apple fans? Seems like not a very good use of their money. Oh and by the way this story was reported on many tech sites with fans of all stripes thinking WTF. I doubt that was Samsung's intention.

They spent billions so the brand Galaxy S5 will be talked about everywhere. not to troll apple fans. it's just extra silly when iMore gives them exposure instead of ignoring them.

There have been some pretty stupid advertising campaigns over the course of my lifetime (Crazy Eddie's and the recent Little Ceasar's ads come to mind), but I think this is one of the stupidest because really, IT MAKES NO SENSE. Given the state of air travel these days, the LAST thing a harried traveler wants to do is pay attention to an advertising campaign...

The most hilarious part of all this is that Samsung will announce the galaxy s5 "prime" in a few weeks and then advertise it as better than the s5 in every way, and all those who flew through this unfortunate terminal and fell for it will be palming their faces harder than ever. :)

Okay, I'm curious. Samsung names the terminal after the Galaxy S. Why should their paying millions of dollars to Heathrow Airport make me want to choose their phone over an iPhone? I mean, it's not like they won a contest on the merits to name the terminal.

In the immortal words of Shania Twain, this "don't impress me much". Why should it?