Samsung goes galactic for mobile launch

Samsung's Renee Sorese tells MiC about the strategy behind the launch campaign for its latest smartphone - and why a free Metric concert was the perfect fit for the campaign strategy.


If Samsung’s brand message reached even a portion of the 7,000 people crowded in front of Union Station last night, then the brand can probably consider their launch event for the Galaxy smartphone a success.

The brand hired Toronto indie rockers Metric to stage a free show at Union Station in downtown Toronto as part of the launch campaign for its new smartphone. The ‘secret’ event was planned with the support of a stealth social-media strategy, which ‘leaked’ clues about the show in the days leading up to it (the Twitter hashtag was #SamsungSecret). The news unofficially broke Tuesday and by yesterday, the hype was in full effect, drawing thousands down to Union Station.

The goal behind the event was to build hype and position the phone as an entertainment-optimized device, Renee Sorese, senior manager, mobile brand marketing, told MiC before the show yesterday.

‘One of the things that we wanted to do with this particular phone launch was create that buzz and excitement that, quite frankly, a lot of our competitors have simply through store lineups,’ she said. ‘We really wanted to promote the entertainment focus of the phone and get a lot of people talking about it and thinking about Samsung as a smartphone brand.’

Metric was perfect not only for the band’s appeal to Torontonians, but its recent inclusion in the The Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack also fits with the Galaxy’s positioning as a movie-ready phone, she explained, adding that one of the talking points in the phone’s marketing will be its battery life, which allows a user to watch a full-length movie on a single battery charge.

The free concert marked the official launch of the campaign, which will roll out media-wise closer to fall to target back-to-schoolers, as well as fresh-off-a-summer-break business people. Targeting a male-skewed 19- to 35-year-old demo, the media plan includes TV, cinema and online display and pre-roll, all chosen for their entertainment focus. The creative is from the US, handled by Leo Burnett in Chicago, and the Canadian media buy is being handled by Starcom.

The phone is available exclusively through Bell Mobility, and will be a focus of the company’s fall marketing, Wade Oosterman, president, Bell Mobility and chief brand officer, Bell, tells MiC.

‘For us it will be one of the hero devices for Q3, and it’s important that it lands in the back-to-school timeframe, because it’s a great device for students, given its richness in applications.’

Oosterman says the phone will have prominent placement in Bell stores and will be supported not only in Bell’s regular media buy (which includes TV, OOH, radio and print), but also, specific to the Galaxy launch, print ads in Toroto’s Metro for Aug. 5 and 6, a radio promotion on 103.5 FM, and a phone giveaway on CP24 in Toronto. There will also be a launch event at the new Bell store at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto, featuring phone giveaways and a ticket giveaway to a Lady Gaga concert. Bell Mobility creative is handled by Leo Burnett, and media by Cossette in Toronto.