ULTIMATE GAMER by Starcom Chicago for Samsung

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ULTIMATE GAMER

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Starcom Chicago
Producer Allison Cooper, Debbie Dolgin
Released February 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Branded Content
Advertiser: SAMSUNG
Product/Service: ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURER
Date of First Appearance: Mar 1 2010 12:00AM
Entrant Company: STARCOM MEDIAVEST GROUP, Chicago, USA
Development Executive: Al Hawes (Starcom MediaVest Group)
Producer: Debbie Dolgin (Starcom MediaVest Group)
Producer: Allison Cooper (Starcom MediaVest Group)
Associate Director: Tiffany Tavolino (Starcom MediaVest Group)
Executive Vice President: Tom Weeks (Starcom MediaVest Group)
Executive Vice President: Latha Sundaram (Starcom MediaVest Group)
Executive Vice President: Kate Sirkin (Starcom MediaVest Group)
Media placement: Reality TV Show - USA, SyFy Networks - 1 March 2010
Media placement: Online Video Content - Hulu, YouTube - 1 March 2010

Results and Effectiveness
• After totaling 400 million impressions through press, promotion and viewership, over 80% believe Samsung is “an exciting, imaginative company” and believe “Samsung understands them.” • Nearly 90% said that the show increased their interest in WCG with website traffic increasing 1,624%. • The show was 10% more engaging than the average reality show according to IAG • 25% said that Samsung integrations increased purchase intent – 3x greater than IAG norms. • Samsung is seeing benefits globally – distributing the series in Australia, Spain and India and generating revenue! • Season 2 airs in August 2010!

Creative Execution
We created and executive-produced the first-ever gaming reality show – WCG Ultimate Gamer – and aired it during major cable networks’ primetime. Developed specifically for Samsung, we pitted contestants in video game challenges and real world challenges that brought video games to life (e.g. competitive driving or leading a real rock band). Samsung products were integrated into the eight-episode series through mobile devices and video displays as well as into our custom built Samsung Stadium that elevated new products to hero status. While gaming was the thematic device, the series focused on contestants’ journey and captured their history and passion to create an emotional appeal that was just as meaningful to non-gamers. We created a connected community of passionate gamers beyond the show with extra video content on Hulu and YouTube, and built a Facebook page and Xbox Live presence to profile the show’s contestants. Chat rooms and Twitter let the gaming community challenge the cast and upload video of their own great gaming moments for all to see.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Though the #1 manufacturer of cellphones and TVs in the US, Samsung lacked the human connection that’s a hallmark of a leading brand. To address this problem among young tech-savvy adults, Samsung was a founding partner of the World Cyber Games (WCG) in 2000 and now features 1.8 million participants in 80 countries. Unfortunately for Samsung, the WCG had yet to achieve relevance in the US. We found that whether young adults live for video games or believe gaming is “lame,” they’re excited by competitive experiences in which real people's passions/dreams/talents hang in the balance. The drama inherent in these events comes from something bigger than the content – it’s the struggle and sacrifice – they live vicariously through the REAL experience of someone putting their best on the line. We needed to make consumers believe that to own a Samsung was to own something bigger than a phone or TV.