Samsung Psy(chs) up Canadians

The electronics company will debut the new Galaxy Note II smartphone next week with a free concert by the internet superstar.
Samsung Psy

What do rapper Psy (famous for his “Gangnam Style” video that’s garnered nearly 523 million views on YouTube within the last four months) and electronics company Samsung have in common? It’s simple, they’re both natives of Korea.

The connection between markets, as well as the artist’s ample following in North America, is what prompted the brand to invite him to perform his first Canadian show for the launch of the new Galaxy Note II, Ken Price, director of marketing, mobile communications, Samsung Canada, tells MiC.

Next Tuesday, at the Kool Haus in Toronto, Psy will play to a crowd of around 1,700 people. Samsung is giving out tickets to the free show online, through its Facebook page, and for those who aren’t quick enough to register on the page before opening night; the brand will also be on-site handing out tickets to the first 25 people who show that they own a Samsung Galaxy phone, says Price.

While Samsung (with the help of Starcom MediaVest) has placed Cheil-created print ads in dailies such as The Grid and Metro, and organized for hosts on Virgin 99.9 and Kiss 92.5 radio stations to give the show a shout-out, Price says the brand has already seen strong promotion by its fans on social media. “This has taken off online [through] social. We’re relying more on our fans than anything else, the word got out a long time before any advertising hit the road,” he says.

For the Note II, there are three target audiences: early adopters, working professionals and women. Psy’s concert will likely reach the early adopters as they tend to skew younger, says Price, but going forward the brand will conduct other experiential promotions to engage with the professional and female target audiences. For example, there will be similar executions to those for the first Note launch, he says, such as when the brand hired artists to draw caricatures of people working in city office towers, which were then uploaded to the Captivate Network to run on its screens in elevators – combining an experiential stunt with traditional media in order to produce a closed-loop promotion.

Price says that the brand is no stranger to launching its phones with popular acts performing on stage. Toronto-based band Metric helped launch the first Note smartphone two years ago. “In mobile, we’ve used music acts and other pop culture experiences to create excitement, we try to make our mobile launches useful in their orientation,” he adds. “At the end of the day what we’re really doing with smartphones, is presenting these experiences [in a way] that makes them come alive.”

The brand must be doing something right, as research from UK-based Juniper Research shows that Samsung shipped the most smartphones for Q3 of 2012. The report says that the company made a record shipment of 56.3 million smartphones, almost double that of its rival Apple which sold 26.9 million during the third quarter.