Microsoft - Samsung SOS Island

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In a crowded mobile market Samsung chose to stand out by producing a daring digital reality TV show to introduce two new products. SOS Island pitted contestants against each other in gruelling survival and technology challenges, with the rallying cry “survival of the smartest”.

Microsoft was a key partner in this campaign driving awareness of Samsung’s S4 Zoom camera phone and NX range of cameras, which where integrated into the overall theme and daily task on SOS Island. The partnership extended the campaign across multiple screens, purposely creating an experience for a gadget loving, content hungry audience. SOS Island integration was specifically built for how users behave on MSN and Xbox, capitalising on the unique strengths and audience of both to ensure great levels of engagement.


The strategy put the audience first. Working with the local market MSN and Xbox editors, Microsoft came up with compelling content propositions tailored to each market and relevant to each platform. It then worked with Samsung’s media agency to ensure content relevancy, levels of brand integration, most effective market exposure and to create an original content calendar. The campaign content was a great fit with the Xbox audience, who are familiar with the host Les Stroud and fans of this Discovery Channel-style of programme.

On Xbox, Microsoft built out a stunning Branded Experience to showcase the TV show episodes in full screen HD, as well as contestant profiles and user voting on who should win – ultimately bringing the show into users living rooms. On MSN it took a native advertising approach offering users survival themed content in familiar formats of articles and galleries, ensuring the mass reach of an engaged audience. The team then worked with Samsung on the best way to integrate its products and brand messaging into page design and content, whilst embedding localised SOS Island episodes into relevant content to optimise performance.


The team built out turnkey experiences on MSN and Xbox for the SOS Island campaign, managing design and development end to end and integrating content supplied by Samsung. Along with this, it produced original content around survival themes, including amazing survival stories, top tips and an exclusive interview with “Survivorman” Les Stroud.

The content launched in October for a 10 week duration, amplifying the SOS Island programme and localising content to UK, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa and Singapore – making it a truly global extension. Video content was produced for the show and tailored it for the audience, editing down and localised into short punchy episodes updated each week on MSN and Xbox.

An original content schedule of articles and galleries for MSN saw weekly updates, offering users regular new content and encouraging repeat use. The brand gained efficiencies with Xbox and MSN experiences sharing content, video, assets and ensured on both platforms that brand messaging made a clear connection between Samsung and its products allowing people to work, live and ultimately “survive smart”.

Working on a promotional plan with local market editors they were also able to align site traffic to key voting periods and content refreshes during the course of the campaign. The campaign was supported by MSN homepage exposure and promotion across MSN Facebook audiences.


This multi-platform, multi-market amplification allowed Samsung to reach its target audience on TV via Xbox, PC, tablet and mobile.

- Total brand engagement time by users on the MSN SOS Island experience was 900+ days or 2.5 years!
- 1.2 million+ page views generated
- Over $100k added media value
- CTR of 2.2% across media formats
- Typical dwell of nearly four minutes Xbox
- 9.2 million+ impressions generated
- Over 100,000 page views generated
- Dwell time of 5 minutes per user
- CTR of 0.63% across media formats

- Reached over 6.5 million unique users with a slight male skew and age range of 18-49, as per original brief.
- Audience interests included society and culture, MSN Entertainment, Lifestyle and Celebrity Channels, which confirms the choice of MSN placements was well suited to the Samsung audience interests.

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