NEW YORK — As younger consumers watch less TV, brands are forced to get creative with their marketing strategies and explore mobile and social alternatives to transform brand moments into purchase intent.

Samsung, for example, drove more than half a million impressions and 150,000 brand mentions with a tweet on launch day for the Galaxy S8 smartphone last year. However, by retargeting the thousands of users who positively engaged with the post with top-of-funnel brand messaging, Samsung was able to deliver an 80% bump in purchase intent among that audience, an executive said during a panel at Advertising Week.

The campaign was deployed at a time when Samsung was especially conscious of its brand perception following the exploding Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. The tech giant, which already had a decent presence on social media, shifted the gears of its Twitter strategy toward communicating with its audiences on a more human level to resonate and build brand love. Samsung asked its Twitter followers to share the first picture they took with their new S8 phone, and in typical internet fashion, the first reply was about “dick pics,” senior marketing manager Kathleen Braine said on Tuesday.

Instead of responding with a stuffy, “corporate bot” retort, Samsung followed up with a microscope emoji, in what Braine said might be typical in a group chat of friends, further humanizing the brand.

“What it stood for to people was Samsung sort of clapping back at online harassment, and [that] is this attitude as a brand you have to have,” she said. “You have to take a stand for something and speak to people in the way they know how to speak.” 

Building brand love

For its latest smartphone release, Samsung aimed to capitalize on its established fan base on Twitter by delivering content throughout the entire journey — even after a customer purchase.

“These people are there, they’re excited, they’re thirsty. Let’s give them what they want and help grow that brand love,” Braine said about kicking off a campaign with an emphasis on product features before diving into the cultural space.

Samsung ran a Twitter poll when the Note 9 smartphone launched and found that people were most interested in battery life and storage. From those insights, the brand asked its Twitter fans what they wanted to do all day with their new phone, driving home the all-day battery messaging around the new device. For those that responded, Samsung served up GIFs drawn with the Note 9 pen, smoothly transitioning from flaunting product features into the cultural space Braine said can help capture consumers’ attention through fun, relevant content on social media.

Cultural relevance

Brands are looking at ways to take their social media strategies to the next level, including by using livestreaming strategically and responding quickly to cultural moments so as to be relevant. 

At CES this year, Toyota Motor North America leveraged Twitter to tease a new electric concept vehicle and spark excitement around the carmaker’s shift toward a more mobility-focused business. By livestreaming the actual debut in January, Toyota generated 8 million views by the end of the campaign — double what the brand’s typical Super Bowl efforts see, media manager Pam Park said during the panel.

Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch bet big on social this year to get closer to consumers. By packing key cultural moments like the Super Bowl with brand messaging, Bud Light was able to power its most successful marketing campaign, “Dilly Dilly,” for months.

As soon as the brand promised on Twitter to buy the city of Philadelphia a beer if the Eagles won the big game, consumers started playing around with the campaign and making it their own, senior director of digital Spencer Gordon said during the panel. “Dilly Dilly” quickly became “Philly Philly.”

It started with no paid media and quickly ballooned to complementary custom content — such as Eagles-themed beer cans — and experiential events in Philadelphia, resulting in a 30% jump in Miller’s No. 1 market, Gordon said.

“We hit on culture. We had a campaign, we allowed consumers to play along with us, we brought them something that was relevant… I think it was the nimbleness and quickness to market,” he said. “And it all started from a tweet.”

Top image credit:

Natalie Koltun / Mobile Marketer

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