How Samsung found “main character energy” to challenge Apple prison

Samsung Galaxy S24 x BBH Singapore 'New Era' Campaign HERO

“The last Apple launch was the pinnacle of when people were really questioning what the difference is between the phones.”

With the recent advent of its Galaxy AI, Samsung Electronics is making a full-fledged effort to revitalise its brand with its latest Galaxy S24 campaign.

Chief creative officer Sascha Kuntze and his team at BBH Singapore were behind the latest global brand launch for the series that, in his words, “finally” heralded a new era of mobile under the theme of “effortlessness.”

He believes it is one of the largest launches by an agency in Asia in terms of media spend to date.

“Over so many years, phone launches have been just incremental, and the last Apple launch was the pinnacle of when people were really questioning what the difference is between the phones,” Kuntze told Mediaweek.

In response, BBH Singapore crafted 17 film assets for the Samsung Galaxy campaign to highlight the S24’s most revolutionary features powered by Galaxy AI; each asset is marked by an “injection of humour”, and the elevation of relatable, real-life moments through “main characterisation.”

Sascha Kuntze, Writer, Director, Chief Creative Officer at BBH Asia Pacific (Singapore)

Sascha Kuntze, Writer, Director, Chief Creative Officer at BBH Asia Pacific (Singapore)

Kuntze described the creative process: “It was a mix of seeing how we can rejuvenate the brand and make it feel younger. So we definitely want to add humour. That was one element.”

The second element, Kuntze explained, was drawing inspiration from other, premium brands, irrespective of the category, on how to evoke brand love and respect through its messaging. 

“We really thought, how can we be more ‘Gucci’ in a way,” he said. “Those two things then started to form the basis for the core campaign idea, which is effortlessness.”

“Every person who uses the phone [in the ads] needed to have that main character energy.

“While the brief was about the features, ‘create, play, and get things done,’ what we added really was the emotional benefit that the phone will give you.”

Kantze admitted that the biggest creative challenge for his team was finding a way to generate excitement about the product enough to motivate users to overcome Apple’s lock-in effect and “make the jump” to Android.

“Apple created this prison that works really well to keep you in the ecosystem.”

Speaking as a recovering Apple user, Kuntze said, “Samsung is way ahead of Apple in terms of technology, the camera is so much superior, the features are just incredible, so there wasn’t really much to do in terms of talking about the product. I think where Samsung is lagging behind is in brand love.

The solution was to find the “vibe” in product demonstrations that transcended the product itself. 

He continued: “All we can do really is make the brand as cool as possible. That’s why a lot of the work here is just demonstrating how cool the features are.

“That’s why we made 17 different films [and] these are not cut-downs… We’re now launching an anthem which is 30 seconds; there’s a 60 version as well. They just make you feel the features.

“We heard that Google said it’s the best partner marketing campaign they’ve ever done,” Kuntze said, elaborating on the unique universalities of the creative agency‘s location in Singapore, which he believes was the secret sauce behind the campaign’s success.

Singaporean culture is quite actually in the centre of the cultural world map, but at the same time, we also have quite a diverse pool of talent, so that allows us to speak and understand the languages. 

“I don’t mean words, but the understanding of cultural nuances a little bit more. I think that was great for us.”

Reflecting on these early markers of success in what was a relatively swift turnaround project for him and his team, Kuntze said, “There’s nothing bigger these days than phone launches, especially for the two big guys. For us, it was a confidence boost to prove to ourselves that we can do this type of work.”

See also: Samsung Ads announces expansion into South East Asia

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