Campaign of the Week

11 April 2023

Samsung turned ad targeting on its head and boosted sales 34% 

Tech corporation gave away smartphones to people who figured out how to make themselves targets of its online advertising

For the launch of its flagship smartphone in September 2022, technology manufacturer Samsung created a digital campaign that played on the format of targeted advertising, encouraging Australians to seek out particular YouTube ads for a chance to win a Galaxy Z Flip 4.

The Flipvertising campaign, developed by agency CHEP Network, Sydney, was an online scavenger hunt, whereby people had to ‘trick’ their Google Search algorithm by viewing certain Samsung-based content, and so get served a winning ad on YouTube.

The competition was initially promoted by influencers Dylan Page and EllyAwesomeTech in a video where they explained that the key to the hunt was in tracking down three online product films.

These short clips centred on a feature of the Flip 4 phone, such as its folding compact design, hands free flex cam and the available colours of the new device. A clue to the next video is then presented at the end of each ad, such as ‘What’s something you can do with your muscles, money and your flip?’ – hinting to search about the phone’s ‘flex’ feature online to find the next video.

While searching online, hunters were given motivational messages in the form of Google text ads to continue sleuthing, such as ‘You’re a little closer to finding the Flipvertisement. Search a few more of the right terms and the algorithm gods might bless you.’

Once all three videos have been viewed, the hunter was placed in a retargeting pool for the final winning ad to be served to them as a pre-roll spot on YouTube.

The winning ad contained a unique code and instructions how to use it. The first user to be successfully targeted with the ad each day across the 10 day competition won a smartphone, everyone else was entered into a prize draw for a chance to win one.

Results / According to the agency, the Flipvertising campaign had the highest search volume of any previous Samsung Z Flip launch – 133% higher than the next best launch. The campaign also achieved a 34% increase in sales and 600% higher engagement than the industry standard.

At the 2023 Spikes awards, Samsung’s Flipvertising won the Grand Prix in both the Direct and the Creative Data categories.

Contagious Insight 

Flip the script Gen Z consumers, the primary target of this campaign, are not huge fans of algorithms – according to a December 2022 study from research and intelligence company Morning Consult, 17% of Gen Z consumers said that receiving targeted ads on social media was ‘always’ an invasion of their privacy (56% said that it was ‘sometimes’). This is what makes Flipvertising so clever, it gets this suspicious cohort to actively seek out its ads and related content – and in the process learn all about the new Galaxy Z Flip 4. It takes targeted advertising to the next level, embracing the algorithm and subtly reframing it to Gen Zers as a tool of fun engagement (a deal sweetened by the possibility of winning a smartphone). 

Use the users  / According to a 2022 study by media services company Cloudinary, 70% of Gen Z consumers find user-generated content helpful when making purchasing decisions – another feather in Samsung’s strategy cap. Rather than explain for itself why its Fold Z range is so great, the Google Search scavenger hunt drives this through unbiased reviews, unboxings, tech breakdowns, previews, comparisons and more that Samsung didn’t pay for. CHEP Network creative director Mark Tallis said in a press release, ‘Research showed us that when it comes to product launches, people are influenced more by real people creating their own content and reviews, so we wanted to drive our ad-wary audience to all that great stuff that was already out there.’ The results indicate the success of the strategy, with Samsung achieving a 34% increase in sales, record breaking search volume for a Fold Z launch campaign and 600% higher engagement than the industry average.

Last year in 2021, Samsung New Zealand also utilised the power of user-generated content to help promote its iTest initiative – a web app that enables iPhone users to test drive the interface of Samsung’s Android phones. You can read more about how this product demo was extremely popular with tech bloggers and smart phone influencers in our Insight & Strategy here.

This article was downloaded from the Contagious intelligence platform. If you are not yet a member and would like access to 11,000+ campaigns, trends and interviews, email [email protected] or visit to learn more.