Samsung out of the box – Case Study 2021

Shortlisted 2021

Social Good

Brand

Samsung

Entered by:

Starcom

Samsung out of the box

The Challenge

Colorful cardboard packaging is great for selling TVs on-shelf – but it’s not so great for our environment. The manufacturing of cardboard packaging and their full-color printed labels create greenhouse gas emissions and overall, cardboard packaging is one of the biggest contributors to municipal solid waste. Samsung knew they had to tackle this as part of their on-going response to climate change and efforts for a sustainable future.  But, this was a big departure for the TV category, as packaging is an important part of branding. Could Samsung achieve its goals without the large stickers and decorative ink that helps its TV brands compete for consumer attention? Samsung needed to find out, and took this on as part of their sustainability journey.

Samsung created an eco-packaging pilot project for Lifestyle TVs that would appeal to the values of a younger, eco-conscious growth audience. Our challenge was to generate authentic engagement around this new packaging and help prove the Eco-Package’s viability – while growing sales for Samsung’s Lifestyle TVs.

The Creative Solution

People are seeking out a more sustainable way of life as they are becoming aware of the very real impacts of climate change on communities around the world. Shoppers, especially younger generations, want to purchase brands with values that mirror their own personal views – meaning eco-conscious and sustainable.

However, when it comes to style and design, too often people feel like they have to compromise on their sustainability values because their desired furnishings, technology or other purchases leave a guilt-inducing eco-footprint on the environment. TV cardboard packaging, typically elaborate and large, leaves behind a higher carbon footprint that can lead to negative feelings during unboxing. People want their TVs to come with great tech, design AND a reduced eco-footprint to relieve that guilt.

Samsung’s Lifestyle TVs (The Frame, The Sero, The Serif) are designed to make your TV the center piece of a space – no longer just a black box, but one with an interior design purpose. The audience is naturally style-conscious, but equally environmentally conscious and not willing to compromise.  These “Content Connoisseurs” live a digital first lifestyle, constantly feeding their creativity from both online design authorities and social media. These behaviors served as a perfect foundation for a global design competition.

We created “Out of the Box,” a challenge that turned trash into treasure, providing inspirational fuel to upcycle Samsung’s new TV Eco-Packaging so that people could stay true to both their style and sustainability values.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

In partnership with style authority and green-minded design publisher Dezeen, we encouraged people to submit their own creative upcycled designs for a chance to win up to $10,000. Dezeen’s audience aligned well as 80% of their readers work in the design industry and the median age of their readers is 36, aligning perfectly with Samsung’s Lifestyle TV audience. To ensure broad participation, our global competition ‘Out of the Box’ was structured to allow entry of multiple formats, e.g., drawings, computer renderings, pictures of cardboard models, or video of the design process.

‘Out of the Box’ was announced across Dezeen’s full suite of owned channels. Additionally, we leveraged mass reaching social platforms (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) to further engage Dezeen’s followers while also targeting other design enthusiasts through boosted paid posts.  We created a full range of creative with Dezeen that was also used across Samsung’s owned and operated channels (visuals, videos, behind the scenes footage, interviews, and recap film), producing content at a fraction of the usual creative agency cost.

In terms of timing, we first built awareness and buzz about the competition to maximize entries. Through CTAs (calls to action) we then encouraged everyone to join in on the fun to showcase what can be done with upcycled cardboard. We leveraged Instagram story polls to engage users and included hashtags for people to share their designs, creating a community of likeminded users driven to go green with Samsung.  Stylish storage containers, a functioning rocking horse, toys shaped like endangered animals…these were just a few of the top 15 designs selected as finalists by Dezeen and Samsung judges that the publisher’s experts re-created using Samsung’s Eco-Package. We built excitement of these shortlisted entries, showcasing their work through stunning professional photographs.

Entries were further narrowed down to the top 5 finalists and a winner. Each of the top 5 finalists were featured in a short film showcasing the design object and the inspiration behind it. They launched across Dezeen’s owned channels on a weekly basis, building anticipation. Ultimately, the winner was announced accompanied by a competition recap film showcasing interviews and behind the scenes footage. It went live across Dezeen’s owned channels plus paid social posts as well as Samsung’s owned and operated channels

The Result

With our “Out of the Box” competition, Samsung sparked a global sustainability movement by challenging people to upcycle their TV packaging and empowering individuals to change the world one Eco-Package at a time.  Samsung Lifestyle TV sales grew 135% YoY in 2020 with a 2x YoY sale growth correlating with the flight of our campaign during Q2 and Q3. And, our competition saw participation from 82 different countries with over 1,500 entries.

From a media perspective the campaign drove 96% increase in social chatter as people discussed their designs and favorite finalists. We garnered 22 Million impressions, exceeding planned expectations by 10x, and our Dezeen social placements saw 82% CTR, well above benchmarks. Other editorials noticed as well with over 60 article mentions across the globe, giving Samsung an incremental earned media value of roughly $1.6 Million.

Lastly and most excitingly due to the success of this campaign, Samsung has expanded the Eco-Package as part of its sustainability efforts. In fact, through the expansion of its Eco-Packaging to all 2021 Lifestyle TVs and the majority of the NEO QLED line, Samsung’s Visual Display Business is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25,000 tons annually, equivalent to the absorption of greenhouse gases by 3.8 Million 30-year-old pine trees over the course of a year.