How Celebs End Up Using Samsung Phones

The company's "White Glove" program aims to sway Hollywood elites

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 13, 2014 3:33 PM CST

(Newser) – Find yourself glancing at the cellphones celebrities carry? Well if it's Jay Z or Martha Stewart carrying a Samsung device, that may be the result of the company's elite "White Glove" program, writes Shane Snow at Fast Company. Here's how it works: A celeb or high-powered entertainment executive shows up at a party and politely lets a Samsung representative show off an S4 or Note II. Then the recipient takes the phone home ... and darn it, the thing grows on them. "And then the influencers become disciples," says Dana Brunetti, a film and TV mogul who was so swayed.

Behind the program is Mitch Kanner, a former digital effects whiz who now negotiates Hollywood media deals. A quiet influencer, he looks like the Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man in the World" ("but with less hair," quips Snow) and keeps his name out of the press. He also makes sure that customized Samsung devices end up in the hands of celebrities—who are then asked to host parties where their guests receive the "White Glove" treatment. Even Snow, a die-hard iPhone user, switched to a Note II after receiving said treatment; he considered it grossly oversized but loved the shortcut swipes and removable battery. With Samsung's market share jumping 5% over the last year, and CNET reporting that the powerful Galaxy S5 is nearly due, those White Gloves may just make the difference.

A man shows the new Samsung Galaxy Note II smart phone during a media preview at the Samsung stand at the IFA consumer electric fair in Berlin, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012.
A man shows the new Samsung Galaxy Note II smart phone during a media preview at the Samsung stand at the IFA consumer electric fair in Berlin, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Jay-Z, left, and Beyonce look up at the scoreboard during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.
Jay-Z, left, and Beyonce look up at the scoreboard during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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