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Top 10 Innovative Brands 2015: #6 Samsung

The technology company continues to create engaging activations at key events and major festivals to give consumers hands-on access to its latest devices.

The “Insurgent—Shatter Reality” tour offered consumers interactive 3-D virtual reality simulations with Oculus-powered Samsung Galaxy Gear VR headsets.
The “Insurgent—Shatter Reality” tour offered consumers interactive 3-D virtual reality simulations with Oculus-powered Samsung Galaxy Gear VR headsets.
Photo: Nadia Chaudhury/BizBash

For the past few years, all eyes have been on Samsung and Apple, the electronics giants jostling for the top spot in the smartphone sector. And although Apple beat the South Korean brand in smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2014—a first since 2011—Samsung reclaimed its position in the first quarter of 2015. When it comes to marketing and events, Samsung remains a prominent player and one committed to developing immersive activations for consumers to see, touch, and experience what it has to offer.

Last year, the electronics company stepped up its efforts at buzzy events like South by Southwest and Comic-Con International. For the latter, Samsung partnered with Lionsgate to promote The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I, creating a version of the movie’s Capitol during the July convention in San Diego to give fans access to exclusive content. Visitors to the experience could pose with hologram images, order food and T-shirts via the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, and watch the new trailer using the tablet and Samsung headphones.

In February this year, Samsung moved beyond just pitching its smartphones and tablets to developing activations for its virtual reality headset, the Oculus-powered Samsung Galaxy Gear VR. At the N.B.A. All-Star Game in New York, fans (and players) stopped by the company’s SoHo studio and N.B.A. House locations to test out the immersive video. And the “Insurgent—Shatter Reality” tour offered consumers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, and San Francisco interactive 3-D virtual reality simulations that served as a preview for The Divergent Series: Insurgent.

But perhaps the next evolution of the brand’s experiential strategy lies in the Internet of Things, the concept of Web-connected devices and sensors that learn and adapt to user habits. It’s the phrase that every company in the tech world is buzzing about and a natural step for Samsung, which makes numerous household appliances—from televisions and security systems to refrigerators and washing machines.

Indeed, for the Billboard Music Awards in May, Samsung debuted a new backstage V.I.P. lounge outfitted with its high-tech home appliances, and a digital backdrop of fan art was streamed to Samsung televisions. At a separate Billboard Music Awards viewing party, Molly Sims cooked bites on Samsung’s dual door oven and showed off the brand’s Activewash washing machine. The brand even opened the Samsung Studio L.A., where visitors can interact with new products, attend entertainment events, and watch home-cooking ­demonstrations.

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