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Why is this work relevant for PR?

To create awareness of Samsung’s sponsorship of the Australian Olympic team, we leveraged a topical moment - the absence of crowds at the Tokyo Olympics. Crowd noise is proven to motivate and enhance athletes’ performances; so to replace it we created music that not only entertained but was also scientifically proven to increase the performance of Olympic athletes. The songs were then released as performance enhancing music on Spotify for athletes everywhere to use. We also produced a mini-documentary designed to generate PR that explained how the music had been made.


Samsung was signed on to be an official sponsor of the Australian Olympic team. We saw this as an opportunity to shift perceptions of Samsung from being cold and techy to being true supporters of Australians.

However, research told us that as a first-time sponsor, we needed to leverage and activate this sponsorship beyond simply naming rights and ad placements in order to maximise the effectiveness.

The objective was clear; How can we create a PR worthy story that demonstrated how Samsung was able to add value to Australian athletes during the Olympics beyond our official sponsorship activity?

Describe the creative idea

Working with Olympians, we gave them an edge over competitors by leveraging something already used by athletes across the globe. Music. We created personalized tracks, each scientifically proven to enhance performance. Every beat, lyric, instrument and artists were chosen to match their desired mind-state, event, and musical preference. To further enhance performance, we tested and fine-tuned 13 audio-triggers, including isochronic tones, personal mantras, cadence and more. Then brought the tracks to life with their favourite Australian artist. Athletes used their tracks to prepare and compete in Tokyo. Meanwhile, the world listened along on Spotify and tested the tracks on themselves for over 183 thousand minutes. As well as watching our documentary film over 22 million times via YouTube, social and a bespoke website.

Describe the PR strategy

Samsung has an extensive, always-on program of research and insights. But more importantly, we had a clear understanding of the brand's purpose. When presented with an opportunity to sponsor the most-watched events of the year, the question was not what can we say, but rather how can we activate our mission in a way that would generate PR for the brand?

Tokyo Olympics presented a clear barrier... no crowds. Research into the impact of crowds unlocked an opportunity; athletes everywhere say that the energy from the crowds can lift their performance. While we couldn't put crowds in the stadium, we did put phones in Athlete's hands as part of our sponsorship deal.

Therefore, how could we use our phones, our ecosystem, and our innovative spirit to provide an unfair motivation advantage that gave our Aussie athletes the best shot when they entered the Olympic Arena.

Describe the PR execution

The PR campaign was launched during the Olympics through our key assets; the Performance Enhancing Music tracks and the documentary film. The music was launched on Spotify through a branded playlist supported by video & audio takeovers on the platform. Word spread through the Olympic village, and our story was picked up by journalists covering the Tokyo Olympics.

The documentary film was launched on YouTube and supported by a comprehensive PR outreach program to sports journalists and tech writers. In line with how music albums are dropped by artists, we launched OOH street posters during the Olympics period to infiltrate culture and create hype. We also connected with younger audiences through our SNAP AR lens, which allowed our customers to create their own performance enhancing music. The campaign ran until the conclusion of the Paralympic games.

List the results

This campaign was about adding authenticity to our sponsorship of the Australian Olympic team. By thinking outside the box, we were able to create a PR story that was featured in over 15 national publishers such as The Australian, Daily Telegraph and Vogue with a combined readership of 1.74m and delivered wide reach with 83 million impressions. But more than that, we created content people wanted to engage with, including over 183 thousand minutes of our custom Spotify tracks listened to and our branded mini-documentary being viewed 22 million times. We proved that action is better than words when it comes to supporting sports events.

This activity turned the tide on Samsung's usual results in ad recall. The campaign delivered a big uplift in Ad Recall across channels:

+135.71% improvement in Ad Recall vs. Control on Twitter

+12.23% improvement in Ad Recall vs. Control on YouTube

+45.45% improvement in Ad Recall vs. Control on SNAP

While the campaign surpassed all campaign metrics set out, the true impact was felt at a business level. The traditionally unpersuadable iPhone audience were flocking to our website in droves to consume our content off the back of our PR story. We delivered 182,879 site visits during the two-week campaign window, 73.3% of which were accessed from our competitors' devices. Brand campaigns are about the long-game, but everything in the short term suggests we are well on our way to shifting perceptions about the brand.

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