Shortlisted 2018




Lead Agency


Contributing Company



The Challenge

The smartwatch market is maturing but many consumers still don’t consider the product as an everyday necessity in their lives. There are two major barriers to market growth – cultural barriers and design barriers. Culturally it is not ‘mainstream’ to wear a smartwatch, and from a design perspective it is hard to distinguish between individual smartwatch brands – most look very similar and people are unsure of the unique features of different brands.

Within the smartwatch market Samsung were lagging behind Apple, both in awareness and market share (Apple 45%) so Samsung needed to not only educate people about their new product – the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
Smartwatch – but showcase its unique capabilities beyond just fitness tracking.

The Strategy

To showcase these capabilities, rather than just talking about the technology in the Gear S3, we positioned it as ‘the ultimate survival companion’ – the indispensable tool for our target audience of adventurous world travellers.

To bring this idea to life, we needed a partner who had expertise in the great outdoors and who could transcend borders and cultures. Discovery stood out as the leading brand with a reputation for adventure and the outdoors
across the world. Their audience reached 44% of Samsung’s target users and they were 3 times more likely to have a strong interest in survival, adventure and the great outdoors.

But reach and affinity were not enough. We needed to demonstrate the product superiority of the Gear S3 in a credible and believable way. To deliver this credibility we negotiated and managed a partnership with the ultimate
adventurer and global explorer: Bear Grylls.

The Implementation

Central to this campaign was Bear demonstrating how to survive in the wild whilst showcasing the Gear S3’s rugged build and features, including barometer, altimeter, S Health & weather apps. These product demonstrations were seamlessly integrated into the storyline showing Bear escaping heavy rain and building himself a fire to keep warm.

This content was distributed to Bear’s fan-base through his Facebook, Instagram and Twitter handles. We also distributed these assets across Discovery’s global TV network airing in premium spots around relevant outdoor shows such as; Outdoor Experience & Dual Survival.

Across social and digital, Discovery created pre-rolls and innovative custom ad units which allowed consumers to discover the functionality of the smartwatch through short-form video footage of Bear. An accompanying behind the-
scenes 360 experience was also filmed by Bear himself using the Samsung Gear 360 Camera which demonstrated the camera’s practicality and high quality. This 360 and VR content was hosted on Facebook, Discovery’s VR platform and Samsung’s VR hub to give fans full-access to the content.

The Result

Samsung increased awareness of the Gear S3 by 45% and increased purchase intent by nearly two thirds. Thanks to Bear’s successful endorsement, viewers considered the Gear S3 116% more appealing.

This campaign also raised awareness of Samsung’s VR and 360 capabilities, with 1.2 million people viewing Bear’s VR Video content, which helped to positively position Samsung’s wider ecosystem to this audience of outdoor

When asked the reasons why they would buy the Samsung Gear S3, respondents suggested “extreme durability” and “ability to withstand extreme conditions”, which highlights how Samsung were able to showcase the true purpose of their product with Discovery and Bear Grylls, in ways other smartwatches previously could not.

As our campaign gained traction by the end of Q1 2017, the IDC (International Data Corporation) reported in their Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker that Samsung “led all companies in year-over-year growth, nearly doubling its
wearables volumes from a year ago”, specifically calling out the Gear S3 Frontier as a contributing factor to this progression.