Company: Samsung

Agencies: R/GA, Cheil Worldwide, Fleishman Hillard, Psyop, Starcom

Market(s): Global

Timing: 2014

In the year of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Samsung set out to earn half a billion impressions through some of the world’s greatest influencers: football players.

BACKGROUND

Samsung set out to launch a global sports campaign. Without investing in paid media, the target was to achieve half a billion impressions. By leveraging the social media clout of the world’s best football players, Samsung hoped to see its content distributed by the players and fed to the fans, who were happy to pick up the story from there, providing twists, turns and extensions to the original story: a game of football to save the planet, pitting the world’s best against a team of aliens.

THE IDEA

Although football is the world’s favorite sport, allegiances are divided among team fans. By harnessing football stars across teams, the campaign could reach the largest fan bases in the world via Youtube, Youku, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, ChatON and Instagram. A website and Tumblr account helped explain the backstory and act as a central hub. Bloggers and media got on board, and fans went wild.

Notably, this was the first time a single brand leveraged both Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to work together in the same campaign.

THE PROCESS

As stakeholder, Samsung brokered deals with players. R/GA delivered detailed metrics and status reports, ideation, planning, execution and production. Cheil Worldwide led strategy and advertising, Fleishman Hillard public relations and Psyop post-production, animation, and CGI effects. Starcom facilitated all media related negotiations.

The campaign had to move at the speed of culture, optimizing strategy based on social listening and data analysis. It also created anticipation and excitement among fans by releasing the names of the Galaxy 11 players piecemeal and dividing the video release into two separately released chapters. Each release precipitated fan response, providing the team with new information.

THE RESULTS

The videos alone have generated over 48 million views. Millions of fans from over 160 countries generated over a half a billion impressions. From launch the website has received over 3 million visitors and over 10 million page views. A third of those visits are from mobile devices and two thirds are referred from social media. The press has embraced it as a blend between marketing and news. Additionally, because the Galaxy 11 campaign was so successful, Samsung is using it as a TV spot in several local markets.