LG hypes the geek in all of us

The electronics brand and new AOR KBS support the launch of the G7 phone by showing everyday passions as examples of cultural nerdiness.

The word “geek” is no longer the stigma-laden insult it once was. Today, people pursue a diverse range of interests with passionate enthusiasm, turning wordsmiths into “word geeks,” hockey superfans into “sports geeks” and, now, electronics companies into “phone geeks.”

A new campaign from LG called “We’re for Geeks” celebrates that newfound cultural geekiness to support the June 1 launch of the brand’s G7 ThinQ phone. With direction from LG’s global office, the company decided to go to market in Canada with a product-focused campaign that wasn’t just feature-based, says Puneet Jain, head of marketing communications for LG Electronics Canada.

“We’re trying to connect with our target demographic through their passion points, through the lens of how the G7 can be useful and add value to their lives,” he says.

The result is a digital spot that highlights consumers’ various passions but doesn’t appear, at first glance, to have anything to do with geeks, at least in the traditional sense. A girl dances wildly to the music from her phone; a woman uses the device to take photos of her food, while another person uses the G7 to capture her dog going to town on an ice cream cone. These are, according to the ad, examples of what you might call a “hip hop geek,” a “food geek” and a “pet geek.”

“This notion of being a geek about something, there’s a reclamation of that language to some degree,” says Matt Hassell, CCO at KBS Canada. “The term geek is a badge of honour for some people now. It made sense for us to start to apply that, because the features of the phone allow for people to geek out.”

The campaign is the first work to come out of LG Electronics’ new agency relationship with KBS Canada, after having named it creative AOR in January following a competitive review.

The media mix includes digital, social, OOH and cinema. Assets will be in-market for the next six months to help keep the product top-of-mind through the year, says Jain. LG worked with Initiative on media planning and spPR on public relations.

“It’s not just about the sake of technology for technology,” says Jain. “It’s about giving innovation and features to [consumers] that will be really helpful to them in their daily lives.”

The phone’s AI-powered camera, for example, helps users identify different types of food and drinks.

Hassell says he recalls the word “geek” being used in LG’s brief, and that it became clear after a little social listening that word is widely used today in a variety of contexts. The campaign aims to hype the act of “geeking out” to drive awareness of the G7 device and show LG’s passion for technology, he says.

Jain says the brand will be monitoring the success of the “We’re for Geeks” campaign before implementing it for other launches, but that the theme presents a certain degree of mutability, which was taken into consideration from the outset.