Insight & Strategy: Join the Flip Side 

How a smartphone brand promoted its latest device by tapping into the emotional reasons why people don’t switch devices

In September 2022, Contagious reported on smartphone manufacturer Samsung launching a global ad to accompany the release of its Z Flip 4 device, which delightfully played on the inertia people experience when they consider switching smartphones.

The hero film for Samsung’s Join the Flip Side campaign was developed by agency Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam and features a woman haunted by the experience of seeing her friend’s new Samsung Z Flip 4 smartphone that ‘literally folds in half’.

The protagonist’s steadfast belief that ‘I would never switch to Samsung, I love my phone’ slowly erodes over the 2 minute ad as she starts to see the Z Fold everywhere she looks. 

The campaign was also promoted on social with quirky 15-second films that emphasised the phone’s folding ability and compact nature of fitting snugly into trouser pockets.

To find out more about the campaign, the smartphone landscape and the insights behind this work, Contagious spoke with Thom Dinsdale, global planning director at Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam. He shared that:

  • Due to explosive growth and widespread adoption of smartphones across the globe, discovering new consumers to sell a smartphone to is nigh impossible – therefore to grow market share, Samsung needs to focus on promoting switching 
  • A person’s connection to their smartphone is often more emotional than rational, so the brief for Samsung’s Join the Flip Side campaign aimed to persuade people to switch through a playful communication that focused on the human side of technology
  • As Samsung’s foldable smartphone feature is still quite new and unique to the category, the brand decided to leverage the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon for its execution (the cognitive bias that once you notice something for the first time, there’s a tendency for people to see it more often)
  • Despite facing up against Apple’s 94% customer retention rate, Samsung reported that the switching rate from Apple-owned devices to its foldable range was at 11.4% – considerably higher than the 3.28% achieved for Samsung’s S flagship series

How has the global smartphone market changed over the last decade?

Thom Dinsdale: Over the past 10 years, there’s been explosive growth in smartphone adoption because the tech has gotten better and a lot more affordable for consumers. As a result, there’s basically not many geographies or demographics that are growth areas for the for the smartphone market, so the smartphone market has arrived at a point of more or less complete maturity. So, we’ve now arrived at a point of quite intense competition between the established brands in the market, with those brands looking at new ways to premiumise the category and earn more revenue. Apple does it through services, Samsung is doing it through new form factors – the size, shape, style and layout position of a smartphone. But it’s also about: How can we steal market share from each other?

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