Samsung has recruited singer-songwriter Paloma Faith, Sunday Times chef Gizzi Erskine, actor Idris Elba and photographer Rankin to mentor budding musicians, cooks, film makers and photographers on a TV programme co-funded by the brand and an unconfirmed broadcaster, which will feature products such as its tablets, phones and cameras.
Entrants need to create a two minute video pitch about their chosen idea and upload it to the Launching People website by 6 March to apply for a chance to become one of the chosen four featured on the series, which will air in spring this year.
The competition and TV programme will be supported by a multi-platform marketing campaign created by Cheil UK. Media planning and buying will be handled by Starcom.
The Launching People campaign first launched in France in June last year and has since expanded to other regions across Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, with Samsung using the concept to demonstrate how its technology can help people realise their ambitions.
Russell Taylor, Samsung Electronics UK vice president of corporate marketing, told Marketing Week the agenda of the Launching People platform and wider marketing activity this year is to make Samsung “the most loved brand” in the UK.
He added: “We are hugely ambitious, it’s not just about being number one in the sector, it’s about how the sector can be redefined and reinvented so you can stay ahead of the game. We think technology helps people. If people ask ‘why does this brand exist’ it’s because we are here to help people improve themselves and do a little bit more than they could normally do.
“Launching People is about an exciting competition, social engagement and broadcast and it’s great for our brand because our products become the facilitator rather than just the name at the end.”
In the mobile vertical alone, Samsung shipped a record 32 million smartphones in 2013, the largest ever shipment of a single vendor in one year, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Samsung had a 32.3 per cent share of the global market last year, more than twice the 15.5 per cent share held by Apple in the period.
While it is difficult to quantify consumer “love” for the brand, YouGov BrandIndex measures “Buzz” – a balance of the positive and negative things consumers have heard about the brand over the past two weeks. Samsung comes top of the Mobile Telephones/PDA sector with a Buzz score of 12.4, above Apple iPhone with 7.4 and Apple iPad with 6.8 according to the latest data from 2 February.
Taylor said Samsung has gone from a “not very well-known brand” to one with a very large level of awareness and sales success across different verticals, but he said that many consumers still are not aware of the story behind the brand.
He added: “We want a brand story that is always on. No longer is our consumer just content to receive messages when a new innovation comes around…our job now in marketing is about having meaningful conversation and being part of people’s lives.
“Samsung is not a jovial, jokey brand but we want to be a brand that engages with people. We have multiple conversation with consumers many times a day: we can’t be boring.”
Taylor would not reveal the level of marketing investment behind the Launching People campaign, but it is understood to be significant – as with previous campaigns.
He said: “How you are going to be remembered isn’t about having the biggest budget, it’s about making the biggest difference. I am lucky to work for a brand which has a significant financial and marketing muscle. But as marketers it’s our job to surprise and engage.”
That is one of the reasons Samsung launched its “interesting take on football”, the global Galaxy 11 campaign, which Taylor says shows that big brands like Samsung can continue to surprise. The campaign has seen the brand “recruit” a team of football stars including Leo Messi and Wayne Rooney to play a match to save the world from the threat of an alien invasion.
Video: Samsung Launching People manifesto