Samsung boosted visibility for its mobile devices with a YouTube series targeting Gen Z consumers and showing how creators could use the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone to film and edit videos. Samsung grew its audience base, with 78% of viewers saying they wanted to see more episodes of the “/make” series, according to a YouTube case study shared exclusively with Mobile Marketer.
Seventeen percent of consumers who watched the episodes said they were more likely to buy a Samsung as their next smartphone, while Apple owners were 15% more likely to purchase a Samsung next. Samsung used YouTube Mastheads, an ad format designed to look and feel native to the YouTube homepage experience, to promote the series and reach a target audience at scale.
Samsung worked with R/GA, Edelman and Starcom on the “/make” series. YouTube Works, an independently judged awards program that highlights how brands use YouTube to drive business results, named the Samsung effort as the winner in its "best translation of an audience insight" category.
To unseat Apple from its lead spot among creators and influencers, Samsung must reach the next generation of mobile consumers and urge them to reconsider buying a Galaxy device. The company’s "/make" series helped the brand reach its goal of connecting with Gen Z creators on YouTube, which has 1.8 billion users worldwide, via a fun and hip look at how creators use Samsung technology to film vlogs to share on YouTube. The effort was built around Samsung’s key insight that many people who watch influencers on YouTube also want to participate in creating their own videos. Those people are seeking guidance on the latest video creation tools and techniques from trusted influencers.
"They used YouTube to not just get the influencers, but become the influencers," Kevin Lilly, a strategy director at ad agency Leo Burnett who participated in YouTube Works panel of judges, said in the case study.
Samsung and Apple, the world's two biggest makers of smartphones, are coping with slowing or declining smartphone sales as the market reaches saturation. Smartphone shipments fell an estimated 4.1% to 1.4 billion in 2018, the "worst year ever" for the market, researcher International Data Corporation (IDC) said in January.
Apple, for decades, has had strong ties to creative communities, especially in graphic arts and design, something Samsung is trying to change with its "/make" series. Apple boosts foot traffic to its stores with its "Today at Apple" events — first started two years ago — that aim to educate and inspire users of iPhones, iPads and Macs while strengthening ties to professionals. To make up for declining iPhone sales, Apple is also expanding its services business to generate ongoing revenue from people who buy its hardware.
Samsung is using a number of strategies to strengthen its role in the smartphone space. Samsung aims to get an early lead on Apple with the introduction of a 5G model that works with faster, next-generation mobile service. However, some of the brand's efforts are encountering challenges. Samsung today postponed a launch event in China for its high-end Galaxy Fold smartphone after reports of defective foldable screens on the $2,000 devices.