Why Samsung is turning to creators to rebuild trust and 'humanize' the brand

Samsung is working to a new marketing 'playbook' which will aim to humanize the brand by positioning its technology as enabling and empowering creatives and makers.

The brand is looking to overcome the issues it faced with the batteries catching fire on a previous handset last year by refocusing its marketing on what the technology can achieve rather than the technology itself.

The brand is working with influencer Casey Neistat and five other makers at Cannes to create content through its Galaxy smartphones and have been taken to the streets prior to Cannes Lions to make short films they are being showcased within a dedicated workshop space.

Explaining the thinking, Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer for America explained to The Drum that it was targeting creators who are able to make and discover content using Samsung technology.

"When you think about the democratization of content that is not only something which is important, in a certain way we wouldn't exist without the sophistication of the cell phones. To think, a few years ago these things were just a phone and now you can create high quality content, you can share it with the world and you can experience it in different way. The center of that fundamental societal change and the more we encourage it further the better it is."

He added his belief that every teenager today wanted to become famous on YouTube by creating content. He cites Neistat's Oscars advert (see above) which delivered the 'Do what you can't' message which was made alongside other creators.

"If you support and enable people they will stand for you. We want to become a brand that is authentic and interested in supporting creators when we announced the concept. We invited a bunch of creators and we had two large events - one for the media and another for our partners but then we needed a more consumer event where we had creators talking about doing what they can't," continued Mathieu.

"We often say that we make the products that push the boundaries of innovation so that people can do the things that can't be done. We help people defy areas using technology to unlock their potential and that is where we think about the brand. That's where the idea of encouraging people to do what they can't came from – that is what we want to stand for."

On the continued push with virtual reality and 360-technology, Samsung is continuing to to build on the success of its Daily 360-news delivery project which saw it work in partnership with the New York Times.

"That was a great way for us to market the camera and VR and we created a TV spot with that content," he stated.

"The whole idea of working with innovators and having them at the center of our content division is something that it important, having the product at the start of our marketing and having the product as a tool rather than an object of marketing and that's where we have started with all of our partnerships."

He claimed that the 'new marketing playbook' that has been adopted will help to 'humanize' Samsung.

"We are rethinking everything we do and how we rebuild the trust and emotional connecting with people and brand love and not just market our products. The new brand campaign is something that is new for us it is important that we start to talk the voice of the brand which is the voice of the product and people are responding well to it.

"We are fundamentally a technology company so we innovate all the time and then we market our innovation because that is the most meaningful thing we do. Last year, when we went through all the challenges we had that is one of the things we had to, in a very meaningful way, listen to what people were telling us, but they were also telling us that they didn't want us to stop innovating and push boundaries.

"As we listened people told us to keep pushing the boundaries but be closer. The whole idea of being human and not just focus on the product and not just what we make but also why we make it."

For more news from Cannes Lions follow the dedicated news stream on The Drum website.

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