Samsung’s Galaxy Camera, with its swish 3G uploading abilities, is the first product of its range to be brought online. What better way to advertise a camera with such ability than through the world of Instagram?! The team at digital agency, Jam challenged 32 of the world’s best Instagramers to discover the most photogenic city in the world. The beautiful results were housed on a bespoke Tumblr site, so that Samsung fans could choose their favourite and then winner was chosen… Who won? Berlin of course! LBB’s Addison Capper spoke to Jam’s ECD Wayne Deakin to delve a little deeper into the campaign and to see whether the proud Aussie could swallow his pride and admit defeat to the German capital.
LBB> What was the brief from the Samsung and what were your immediate thoughts?
WD> We won the account late last year after a global, competitive, creative pitch against some much larger overseas agencies (including Cheil and Leo Burnett). The idea we delivered was pretty much what we pitched, which is brilliant because it’s not often that the original pitch idea becomes the finished piece. It's a nice buzz to see it from the idea in your head to a final real-world piece.
Our brief was to help launch the new Samsung Galaxy Camera to the world. When I saw the brief from Korea, I thought ‘wow this could be great’, as it had physical and digital written all over it. The Galaxy Camera is a nice bit of kit, and who doesn’t like great photography?
We thought the product was so good that we should just demonstrate it and let people exchange and share their experiences. And who better to approach than influential Instagramers?
To get the best out of each photographer, we added a competitive element to encourage them to show off their city in a way that only a native of that city would be able to.
LBB> How long did the concept take to fully develop?
WD> The idea was to really let the pictures do all the convincing. What we needed to build was an environment that people could access and share the images from.
Tumblr was the natural choice of hub, but I didn’t want it to be just a normal Tumblr. It needed to be bespoke and aligned with the campaign’s look and feel. Nobody decent was going to give their work over to a brand if they didn’t think it reflected well on them, so the team spent a lot of time designing the behavior and interface, and tailoring the Tumblr site in a cool way. Craft is important to us at Jam, so we needed to investigate ways to bring the currency of a great photo to life, in a way that felt modern but still accessible.
LBB> Strategically, what do you think this campaign will achieve for the brand?
WD> We’ve already got a lot of the results in and they are awesome. But beyond the stats and the millions of people that 'liked' us, I personally think it has helped shift a lot of people towards the brand and made this new camera a lot cooler. The hipsters have got it on their radar now and that’s a big win for a brand.
The use of a bespoke mobile Tumblr site, which was also tailored for different handsets, and the online films, ads, Twitter, and Instagram work has already helped to create positive buzz around the brand.
I was following some of the photographers recently and I am still seeing tweets about their Samsung cameras. They are obviously still using them, which is amazing.
LBB> What was the selection process for the 32 Instagram competitors?
WD> Chris and I wanted a range of different people from across the world that had various styles of photography. From Sydney to London, we chose people whose style captured a certain vibe. It was important that we had a range of styles and approaches because we needed to show what the camera could achieve and put it through its paces.
I did look at the amount of followers each of the competitors had, to see how much of a following they had, but more important was that their artistic approach and attitude had something fresh and interesting.
LBB> The participants were set a number of shooting challenges, which involved using different settings on the Samsung Galaxy Camera. Could you tell us what kind of activities they involved? Which ones produced the best photographs?
WD> Each week we set a shooting challenge, but it was very loose - I didn’t want to get too prescriptive or create ad-like shots. The challenges were more focused on bringing the camera modes to life through the competitor’s vision. I just restricted it to their home city and used the settings to narrow down the brief. After all, each of the camera modes themselves guided the competitors.
I think the Berlin and Amsterdam images ticked the most boxes for me. I guess they did for a lot of people out there.
LBB> What were the most challenging aspects of the project and how did you overcome them?
WD> Luckily for me, Chris [de Abreu, creative director] and Fabien [Pons, art director], have a real eye for photography. They spent many countless hours selecting and reviewing the photographer’s work to create weekly shortlists. It was a continuous process because each week for eight weeks, we had to select the best images sent in by the competitors and narrow them down. We ended up with a really good mix of photos and hopefully the images are proof of that.
The other challenge with something like this is its global nature. You are talking to America at one moment and then chasing someone in Milan the next. You have to continually make sure that you are keeping the creative vision on track and keeping the photographers and the agency team all pointing in the right direction.
LBB> If you could have chosen the winner of 'most photogenic city', which would you have chosen and why?
WD> As an Aussie, I need to swallow my pride and say I think the right city won. I think the people voted for the right place and Berlin, followed by Amsterdam, which really stood out.