Lining up for Samsung’s new phone

To promote the launch of the new Galaxy S6, a virtual contest gives consumers a different way to stake their claim.

Today marks the Canadian launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 line of mobile devices, but thousands of Canadians who might have wanted to avoid the crowds at the store found a different way to line up for the new phone.

Since March 30, the company has been running a contest dubbed #S6Lineup. Every day, Samsung has been creating and posting content – such as photos and videos – under the hashtag, and by sharing that content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (or creating their own) Canadians can earn points and earn a place in the lineup, moving up on the list the more the points they earn.

The top six have had their name and photo, as well as their position in the lineup, broadcast on Samsung’s giant digital screen near Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, the largest in the country, as well as screens at Vancouver’s Metropolis at Metrotown and Montreal’s Eaton Centre. Those holding the number seven through 50 spots get a place on a special 80-foot LED board set up in the square.

The top six will win some of the first Galaxy S6 devices in the country, with the person in the number one spot winning a grand prize that includes an all-expenses trip for two to a Stanley Cup Playoffs game. The company has also awarded daily prizes for those in the other spots as the contest has gone on.

Mark Childs, CMO at Samsung Canada, says the format of the contest has allowed the company to emphasize the device’s new and improved capabilities in each of the posts they send out, and doing so in a socially-focused way reaches a younger consumer that places more importance on new technology.

“Millennials value social currency and this launch is meant to engage these consumers through a digital conversation that allows them to engage with the brand,” Childs says. “These consumers are turning to their peer social networks to influence purchase intent and by creating an ongoing dialogue through social media, we can interact with them in a way that makes sense, bringing the key features of our latest technology to life in an authentic, credible way.”

Wright XM, a Toronto-based interactive and experiential agency, helped Samsung develop #S6Lineup. Starcom MediaVest is responsible for the media buying on the entire launch campaign, which began when the device was announced in March at the Samsung Unpacked event. North Strategic leads public relations and Mosaic has been driving direct and experience elements. Cheil has been leading on the creative and social elements on a global front.

Childs says this is Samsung’s most important smartphone launch to date.