Samsung Not A School

IRIS, London / SAMSUNG / 2021

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Traditional education struggles to keep up with the pace of technological change, to prepare young people for the jobs of the future.

In 2020, Samsung research showed 68% of young adults felt traditional education hadn’t given them the right tools for success and only 10% felt confident about their future career prospects - something exacerbated by COVID-19 and lockdown across the UK.

With a Global CSR commitment aligned to the Global Goals, to empower the next generation of innovators through education, Samsung wanted to support 18–25-year-olds across the UK – their future consumers and potential employees - with an experience to build back their confidence for a future driven by innovation, while delivering on the Samsung brand expression; ‘Do What You Can’t.


If school wasn’t preparing young people for the future, we had to give them the opposite: Not a School.

We created a free alternative e-learning experience for 18-25-year-olds to engage with unexpected educators - from Samsung to influencers like Lady Leshurr – sharing, not teaching, learned experience in live and pre-recorded sessions, inspiring innovation to solve issues;

• Respecting Our Differences: How can different opinions bring us closer together online?

• Turning Climate Anxiety into Positive Action: How can technology unlock activism?

• Solving Education Inequalities: How can technology allow us all to be educators?

• Building Human Connection in a Digital World: How can technology end isolation?

A ‘call to arms’ social campaign, leveraging our influencers, told our audience this was their chance to build the future. Striking visuals of the social issues from the course in combination with empowering messaging such as ‘The Future is Yours’, drove participation.


To genuinely benefit our 18–25-year-old audience across the UK, Samsung had to use technology to help them learn in a new, relevant and more human way.

Where tech competitors focus on STEM skills, we instead focused on timeless, life skills that could help our audience adapt and embrace an ever-changing tech-laden future; communication, critical-thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

Through applying these skills in developing solutions to the societal issues that GenZ told us they cared about most – sustainability, inequality and digital-wellbeing – we co-created an educational experience they’d want to participate in. By using unexpected educators from Samsung’s CSR partners and influencers, we’d engage our audience with experts they wanted to hear from.

Combining this into a free, online experience meant we could reach as many young people as possible, nationwide. All with the aim of making our audience feel more confident in their own skills for the future.


Lockdown meant Not a School needed to provide a wholly digital experience without losing the depth of face-to-face learning. In partnership with FutureLearn, we developed a platform first; courses with live and pre-recorded sessions. The course topics were inspired by The Global Goals and refined in GenZ research.

The experience was free to join, available in two formats:

- Four ‘self-led’ courses; 100+ pieces of pre-recorded content, allowing anyone to participate and interact via comments, at anytime.

- Four ‘immersive’ two-week courses; 100 selected 18–25-year-olds, in live, daily video-calls with experts, supplemented with pre-recorded content. Students were given free Samsung technology, facilitation from mentors, and worked towards a presentation to Samsung at the end of the experience.

A nationwide, targeted social campaign across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, launched the courses in September 2020. The live experience ran for 8 weeks, the self-led courses were available until September 2021.


Brand impact:

Immersive course participants, post course:

- 21.5% uplift in those who ‘completely and ‘mostly’ agree Samsung has a clear, positive social purpose

- 96% ‘wanted to work for Samsung’

Snapchat brand lift survey:

- ‘Brand association’ increased by 16%, ‘purchase consideration’ by 11%


Self-led courses:

- 17,000+ enrolments in 2020, 2500+ learner comments

- To date, 21,113 enrolments, 75% above 12,000 target

Immersive courses:

- 100 students, 244+ hours of live e-learning

- 97% rated experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’

- 94% would recommend to a friend

Awareness and Impressions:

Paid media:

- 109million+ impressions

- Reached 12.7million+ GenZ at 97% (86% target)

- 17million+ video views.

PR coverage:

- Reached 1.9million+


- 10 posts, combined reach 1.9million+


Immersive course participants skills increased post-course:

- Collaborating: +16.08%

- Ideation: +16.49%

- Solve problems: +16.72%

- Networking: +21.98%

- Prototyping: +32.96%

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