How Samsung is using rugby to become a ‘meaningful’ brand

Samsung is on a mission to become a “meaningful brand” as it launches a new rugby campaign in an effort to tap into the passion surrounding sport in the UK.

The brand’s first multiplatform rugby campaign, the Samsung School of Rugby, kicks off today (3 September) in an effort to “demystify the game” and tap into excitement surrounding the Rugby World Cup.

The BBH Sport-created campaign will be promoted through print, in-store, digital and social as well as an eight-week TV campaign kicking off tomorrow (5 September). The TV push will include six spots showing England Rugby stars Jason Leonard, Maggie Alphonsi, Lawrence Dallaglio, Martin Johnson and Jason Robinson teaching comedian Jack Whitehall about the sport.

Samsung’s UK CMO Russell Taylor told Marketing Week the campaign is part of an effort to get people to see Samsung as “a brand that’s meaningful and plays a part in their lives” after going from being an unknown brand to becoming the biggest in the UK for technology.

“Sponsorship creates a real bond with people who are passionate about something,” Taylor said. “Sport is the UK’s single biggest passion point. If we can use it well we will see brand metrics move in the right direction.”

The brand, which has been the official partner of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) since last year, also wants to target those who will get involved in the excitement around the Rugby World Cup but don’t understand the game.

“Rugby is one of those games where the fans absolutely love it and understand it, but it’s quite a complicated game,” Taylor said.

Samsung brand ambassadors George Ford, Joe Launchbury and Jonathan Joseph will feature throughout the campaign offering tips, while an online hub will go live on 8 September featuring information on rugby rules, trivia and additional content from the rugby legends.

“A lot of people, who we call ‘big eventers’, will get involved because it’s in the UK and want to be a part of it,” Taylor said. “We’re supporting the supporters and opening up the game to those who don’t understand it.”

He added that although Samsung is not a sponsor of the Rugby World Cup, there is still a massive opportunity to “have dialogue with the fans and with the heritage in the sport”.

“We will judge success based on whether people are both aware of us as a credible partner and of the role which our technology will play in their lives,” Taylor said.

Making life better through ‘innovative technology’

The brand’s effort to be “meaningful” to consumers appears to be playing out across its entire business.

At the IFA 2015 trade show in Berlin today (3 September), Samsung announced the introduction of its “Smart Things” hub, which will let consumers monitor and control their homes from anywhere.

The Hub, which launches in the UK next week and the US today, will work alongside technology from selected partners, including a deal with BMW which will allow users to see updates from home displayed on the dashboard of their car.

Samsung is also working on building a “digital health ecosystem” through the likes of “Sleep Sense”, which connects with devices such as TVs, air conditioners or lights to create the best sleep conditions and track and analyse sleep patterns.

“The world is ready for innovative technology that makes people’s lives better and allows them to do more things than they would have thought was possible before,” Taylor said

“There’s never been a better time to be a marketer. Samsung is changing the way we live our lives.”