Samsung leaps through the clutter with skydiving stunt

In a competitive technology market, brands are relying on buzz from PR stunts to promote new product features.

In the news
In a competitive technology market, brands are relying on buzz from PR stunts to promote new product features. In a recent effort to promote its new lineup of full-keyboard text messaging phones, Samsung Mobile tasked 10 professional skydivers with establishing the Guinness World Record for Fastest Text Messaging While Skydiving on December 1. In under a minute, participants had to text “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”

Rather than promote new products and features among traditional electronics' media, as it had done in the past, Samsung invited only online media to view the stunt and compiled a viral video of the event. The PR team is working on a post-holiday mini-documentary.

Why does it matter?
Kim Titus, director of PR for Samsung Telecommunications America, says that this kind of PR stunt is a way to differentiate Samsung and break through the clutter. “I think you're going to continue to see creative ways of getting to the- consumers, in addition to the traditional advertising [and traditional media outreach] route.”

Eric Villines, VP and GM of Samsung's AOR MWW Dallas, explains that to reach a younger demographic using phones with the text-centric keyboards, it's necessary to resuscitate the “speed texting concept” in a fun and irreverent way, rather than promoting technical features, such as two-megapixel capabilities.

He adds, “It's a competitive [electronics] space. Sometimes we run the risk of... focusing too much on products' obvious value.”

Five facts:
1 A Samsung-commissioned Kelton Research survey found that families that used text messaging intergenerationally claim to feel closer than those who did not.

2 LG and Ogilvy launched the LG National Texting Championship in an effort to reward consumers for their texting abilities.

3 Virgin Mobile encouraged people to post videos of themselves undressing with its recent “Strip2Clothe” CSR campaign.

4 PCLive.com developed a video called “Laptop Freakout,” featuring a man that was suffering from a “computer rage” breakdown.

5 Mozilla launched Firefox 3 with a campaign that involved an initiative audited by the Guinness World Record organization.

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