Digital Transformation Brand Strategy

NBC Universal and Samsung bringing The Tonight Show to the metaverse

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By Webb Wright | Junior Reporter

September 19, 2022 | 5 min read

Ever wanted to play giant beer pong in Fortnite? Soon that will be a possibility...

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‘Tonight at the Rock – Powered by Samsung Galaxy’ will launch on September 20 / NBC Universal

NBC Universal (NBCU) and Samsung are launching a new marketing and fan engagement push titled ‘Tonight at the Rock – Powered by Samsung Galaxy,’ which will take place in a virtual rendering of Rockefeller Center. The virtual experience is being hosted in Fortnite, the hugely popular online multiplayer game that has come to serve as a major gateway for brands looking to connect with their audiences in the metaverse.

Once inside the “co-branded virtual NYC” – as described in a statement from NBCU – visitors will be challenged to ascend from the ground floor all the way up to Studio 6B (where The Tonight Show is filmed inside Rockefeller Center), collecting Samsung device-themed power-ups along the way. They can also play a number of mini-games, including giant beer pong – a game that will be familiar to many fans of the show.

“At Samsung, we’re always looking for opportunities to give users one-of-a-kind experiences with their Galaxy devices,” Janet Lee, senior vice-president of mobile experience at Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement. “‘Tonight at the Rock’ empowers fans with a unique social adventure right in the heart of 30 Rock, all enhanced through in-game Samsung power-ups made possible by the Galaxy ecosystem. We are so excited to offer late-night fans the first-ever interactive Tonight Show gaming experience, in a way that honors our longstanding creative partnership.”

‘Tonight at the Rock – Powered by Samsung Galaxy’ is an extension of a pre-existing partnership between Samsung and NBCU. In another collaborative effort in early 2019, The Tonight Show aired an episode that was filmed entirely on a Samsung Galaxy S10+ smartphone.

“We’ve been collaborating with Samsung on unique, engaging integrations over the past few years to bring Tonight Show audiences first-of-its-kind experiences they can’t connect with anywhere else,” Mark Marshall, NBCU’s president of advertising and partnerships, said in a statement. “Now, we are transforming with our partners as the industry dives further into tech-enabled activations such as metaverse platforms redefining interactive advertising within iconic pieces of IP like NBC’s Late Night slate.”

Samsung has been recently making great efforts to distinguish itself as a pioneering brand in the metaverse. In June, it held an event in Roblox called Samsung Superstar Galaxy, which featured a virtual performance from Charli XCX. It also hosted a Valentine’s Day event in Decentraland earlier this year.

‘Tonight at the Rock – Powered by Samsung Galaxy’ will go live on September 20. Following the launch, Wednesday’s broadcast of The Tonight Show will also promote the new virtual experience with “a special in-show integration mirroring one of the games IRL.”

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