Long queues outside retailers characterise the launch of top-brand mobile phones. What would the smarter, more tech-savvy Samsung version of that hype be?
That was the challenge when Samsung’s flagship mobile phone product – the Galaxy S4 – was about to hit the market. Instead of launching the phone themselves, they let their advocates do the talking by creating a waiting experience that would showcase the “Samsung smarts”.
The hassle and tedium of physical queuing was overcome by creating a virtual queue. Customers were encouraged to act as marketers by rewarding them for sharing S4-related content via social media. The more likes, retweets, shares and comments they received, the further they moved towards the front of the virtual queue and into the draw for one of 627 prizes on offer.
The campaign website hosted the virtual Smart Phone Line for the ten days leading up to the S4 launch with fans joining the line via a Facebook log-in. A personalised avatar, chosen by selecting a body from one of 120 created for the campaign, with the addition of their Facebook profile photo for the head, represented them in the line. Their avatar would also be visible in the physical version of the line in Aotea Square, Auckland.
Sharable content was constantly added to the website - every day for ten days a fresh set of S4 features was released that those in the line needed to share to make their way to the front of the line. The further they pushed the features of the phone, and the more their friends interacted with these posts, the further up the line they moved.
Alongside this, New Zealand’s largest ever LED installation was created: a giant 50x3 metre LED billboard showed the online queue in real life with 50 metres of virtual people waiting in the line. Linked to local weather and time data streams, the behaviour of the virtual participants was also reflected: pulling out umbrellas when it rained and drifting off to sleep at night.
For two weeks, 12,000 fans shared 85,000 Galaxy S4 posts, reaching a staggering 15 million people.