Campaign of the Week

4 October 2022

Samsung targets Apple loyalists in flip-phone ad 

Smartphone manufacturer dials up the humour to tempt iPhone owners to try something new

Smartphone manufacturer Samsung has released a global campaign to promote the launch of its flagship Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 phone. The aim of Join the Flip Side is the promote switching to the manufacturer’s range of phones and challenge people who believe they are ‘loyal’ to another brand (implied to be Apple in this case).

The signature feature of the Z range is its folding screen capabilities that enables easier portability without compromising on screen size. For the two-minute hero film of the campaign – which was developed by agency Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam – the protagonist initially becomes entranced by her friend’s folding phone before instinctively replying ‘I would never switch to Samsung, I love my phone.’

The protagonist then starts to fantasise about the folding feature and sees it everywhere in her daily life (books, sandwiches, toilet lids, scooters, yoga poses and even a square pizza). The humorous ad ends with her trying to fold her current smartphone in half before buying the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and joining the flip side.

The ad is supported by a series of five 15-second social films that emphasise the portability of the phone and the unique folding feature through amusing animated shorts. In one, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 runs along beside a herd of galloping horses, while in another, its ‘pocket-ability’ is demonstrated by the phone sliding in and out of endless pockets.

Also, in Belgium, the seats at a bus bench were replaced with chairs that resembled the Samsung Z Fold phones that could be flipped open to sit on.

Results / Samsung has reported that the lead campaign film has already achieved 15 million organic views on YouTube since launching two weeks ago on 7 September.

Contagious Insight 

Smart switching / Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4 device launched on 26 August 2022 and Join the Flip Side is designed to build up hype and desirability around the tech during its big release. But the campaign is also trying to capitalise on the key window of September where people are more susceptible to switching due to the large influx of flagship smartphones being launched by the likes of Apple, Huawei, Google and Samsung.

Creative directors Ed Olhagaray and Ramona Todoca at Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam, told Contagious: ‘Samsung has category-leading innovations but people often get stuck in the habit of buying the same phone year after year without truly considering the whole marketplace and what is on offer to them. It can feel easier and safer to stick with what you know instead of opening yourself up to something truly new and exciting.’ By targeting consumers while they are already in a moment of consideration, Samsung’s increases the likelihood of this message actually working and maximises its opportunity to draw in new consumers. 

Recently, Samsung New Zealand won a coveted Black Pencil at the 2022 D&AD awards for its iTest campaign, another smart switching campaign that used a web app to enable Apple iPhone users to trial the Android interface from the comfort of their existing handset. 

Flippin’ heck / A standout feature of the main ad is how it mixes emotional storytelling with rational product demo (a phone that flips!). Writing in his book Lemon, System1 Group’s Orlando Wood states that advertisers need to embrace the ‘betweenness’ of human relationships, that is filled with cultural nods and references, and that uses metaphor and fluency devices (characters or scenarios that represent the brand message) – in short, they must ‘entertain for commercial gain’. Samsung’s Join the Flip Side is a textbook example of this advice in action, delivering a key product benefit information through witty and relatable storytelling.

In the fold / What’s particularly smart about Join the Flip Side is that the brand is trying to boost salience of the product by getting people to see it in their everyday life – the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Wieden+Kennedy’s Olhagaray and Todoca told us: ‘Once you see a Galaxy Flip folding for the first time you just can’t unsee it. We dramatised our protagonist’s inability to stop thinking about the flip by having her see things folding everywhere… a sandwich, a fridge door, a pizza. The effect is magnetic.’

In addition, as this folding feature is unique to Samsung, the brand is solely building salience for itself during this competitive window while all its competitors focus on other features that are broadly similar in quality and found on most devices – such as the camera, screen and battery quality. For the launch of the Fold 4’s predecessor, Samsung used a similar strategy to reinforce the portability of the smartphone due to its folding capabilities – partnering with Australian jeans brand Dr Denim to make a limited-edition collection with tight pockets that were only big enough for the Samsung Galaxy Flip 3. Contagious members can read more about that campaign here.

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