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EVENT REPORT

Samsung Mobile Launches Its Largest Campaign With Bash for 500 Fans, V.I.P.s

To showcase "S-Beam," a Galaxy S III function that allows users to transfer files by touch, the event offered a "beam bar." Attendees used the new phones to order drinks and bartenders would collect the orders by tapping their devices against them.

Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Samsung

To launch its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S III, Samsung Mobile debuted its most ambitious marketing campaign yet, hosting a 500-person event at Skylight Soho in New York on June 20, before hitting a private residence in Los Angeles the following day for a more intimate bash. The electronics company also rolled out several consumer-facing initiatives, including an installation in Times Square designed to show off the sharing function of the new gadget.

“To support the most highly anticipated smartphone of the year, we are launching the biggest interactive marketing campaign ever conducted in the U.S. by Samsung Mobile,” said Brian Wallace, vice president of strategic marketing at Samsung Mobile U.S.A. “This campaign is the largest to date, but it is also in line with our market-share position and the expected popularity of the Galaxy S III.”

Looking to reward fans with a detailed experience of the new device, Wallace said the attendees for the New York bash were selected through the brand's Facebook page and the setting itself was designed to be “experiential in nature.” For the event's marketing agency PMK-BNC and production partner Caravents, that meant creating an interactive tour, with areas such as the bar, lounge, and photo-op station conceived to flaunt the phone's sharing, image-capture, and one-touch file-transfer features. There was also a video kiosk and small 3-D theater that previewed another component of the campaign.

“In addition to the New York and L.A. experiential events,” Wallace said, “Samsung is launching Samsung 'Share to Go,' which includes 40,000 interactive posters and 50 kiosks in airports and malls throughout the country. 'Share to Go' allows Galaxy S III owners to download free, premium content such as music, eBooks, and articles from The Onion and The New York Times. We will also be launching the first-ever 3-D interactive game at 55 movie theaters in the U.S. The game detects hand movements as viewers wave their hands in the air in order to control a Galaxy S III.”

To round out the launch in New York, Samsung brought in musical acts Sebastian Ingrosso and Skrillex; L.A. guests enjoyed performances by DJ Brent Bolthouse and Alabama Shakes.