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Samsung Ad Inspires Greatness

Red Bull may give you wings, but Samsung can help an ostrich fly. At least virtually, thanks to their virtual reality gear. The Korean brand’s new ad is my favorite current commercial, and I’m not alone: in the six weeks that the spot has been running, it has racked up nearly 24 million YouTube views.

Elton John + Ostrich + VR = brand-building win for Samsung.

Samsung’s VR glasses and Elton John’s “Rocket Man” song inspire the world’s biggest, heaviest bird to do what can’t be done. The ad is also inspiring millions and millions of consumers.

Why is that? This inspirational messaging is ringing true for so many because the video was created without the shackles that many brands place on their advertising. We, like the ostrich, aren’t weighed down in the details of reality: the technological specifications, pricing, where to buy (and pressure to do it now!). Instead, we are swept away by the fantasy of possibility that is summed up by the spot-ending hashtag #DoWhatYouCant. It all works together to build our interest in the product – and, more importantly, our awareness of and affinity for the brand. And it makes us want to share the messaging, enhancing the paid media buy with invaluable earned impressions.

THIS is tradigital thinking. It combines the brand-building power of traditional media with the economic scale of digital with an important differentiator: it never puts the brand in danger of being viewed as transactional. Samsung clearly the possibilities of more than just flightless birds taking to the skies. The brand understands that traditional and digital marketing efforts must work holistically to build both brands and sales in the most effective manner.

It would take a LOT of VR equipment sales to pay for this ad’s production costs and media buy. Sales from consumers who were not already planning on purchasing the tech toys. Samsung knows that and, most likely, doesn’t care. This brilliant commercial will cast a positive light on the brand for current and new fans. That’s a long-term vision…and one that doesn’t require digital glasses to see.


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