The Samsung Galaxy S4, successor to the wildly popular Galaxy S III, was announced on March 14, 2013 in New York. Unfortunately, it would not launch in the Netherlands for another six weeks, on April 26th. Six weeks is a long time in the world of smartphones. As the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, competitors are just waiting for Samsung to falter. Those six weeks would be enough of an opportunity for other manufacturers to launch a new phone or tout the newest option.
While Samsung asked people to wait, competitors would tell consumers, “You don’t have to.” Starcom MediaVest's challenge would be to fill that six-week gap. With momentum for the Galaxy S4 beginning at the global announcement, it needed to make sure it not only retained the excitement, but increased it over that time. While competitors were going to challenge and steer the conversation away from Samsung, the agency had to make sure that there was only one thing worth talking about.
In the Netherlands, there was already something on everyone’s mind: the royal succession of Queen Beatrix to King Willem-Alexander. When new royalty is born, the hopes and dreams of the country’s people go through the roof at the potential of the new monarch. That moment isn’t realised until the throne is finally passed down and just as this succession was happening in the Dutch monarchy, it was also occurring with Samsung from the SIII to the S4.
The culmination of this excitement (May 1) would coincide almost exactly with the launch of the new Galaxy S4. With the conversation focused on the transition, Starcom saw an opportunity to enable and amplify people’s thoughts and wishes through modern technology – that which is found in the new Samsung phone. The idea was have Dutch citizens send personal wishes to the King for his new “job,” creating a way to talk to the monarch one-on-one. Not just through a simple email or letter, but with the Galaxy S4.
The King’s inauguration and festivities were used not just to introduce the new phone but use it as the medium that would connect the royalty-obsessed Dutch with their new king. Starcom asked people to record their wishes through Samsung media that would then be personally given to the new king on the Galaxy S4. Samsung developed a Facebook app that enabled people to leave a personal good luck message for Willem-Alexander on the exact phone we would hand to the new king. Visitors could add their message by calling or texting the phone or via Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, ChatOn or their webcam. Fans could even read, watch and hear all of the good luck messages that were recorded on the phone using the new Galaxy S4 interface.
Once the good luck wishes started pouring in, Starcom used the funniest and most surprising messages as Samsung advertising leading up to the launch. The ads were displayed on newspapers ads, banners, website take-overs, Facebook and in online commercials and let everyone feel as though they were a part of the transition. And on May 1, the first official working day of King Willem-Alexander, made sure that the Galaxy S4, loaded with good luck wishes, got delivered to him.
Samsung not only used the conversation and topics regarding '#troonopvolger' (“#successor”) to connect with the campaign, it drove the conversation to become a trending topic, generated by nearly 10 million impressions and an remarkable high engagement rate of index 125 compared to the Dutch Twitter benchmark.
It even gained prime time news coverage on TV with over 2,100,000 viewers (25% market share) outstanding from all other campaigns following the ‘inauguration’ as what has been said on blogs as THE best ‘inauguration case’ to launch the product.
In little over a month, over 100,000 people found their way to the Facebook app, which resulted in almost 40,000 pre-registrations (double the amount of the previous Galaxy SIII launch) by people who decided to wait instead of a competitors phone.
The Facebook page also grew nearly 15%, up to 260,000 likes (Top 5 NL pages). This led the Samsung Galaxy S4 to be the top selling smartphone in the Netherlands in just a few weeks and a smooth transition for both of the country’s leaders.