Samsung teams with Director X for Galaxy Note campaign

Samsung has partnered with Director X, Twitter and so.da for #PowerUp, a content campaign promoting the new Galaxy Note 10.

Director X is working with three young directors from his production company Popp Rok to shoot a series of music videos using the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. The Toronto-based director has a growing profile thanks to music video hits like this, but also for smart social contributions such as this.

In addition to the music videos, so.da is shooting making-of footage that will be pushed out through Twitter. It’s a reality web series with a big name attached, combined with high-production social content marketing, capped off by lots of product integration.

Samsung is positioning the Galaxy Note 10 as a phone inspired by “a generation that moves seamlessly between work and life” and lets people “showcase their creative spirit.” In other words, younger millennials and Gen Z who grew up producing and sharing social content, but have increasingly come to care about the quality of the content they produce.

#PowerUp is fundamentally about tapping into cultural moments that align with Samsung’s brand values said David Allard, chief marketing officer, Samsung Electronics Canada. “Our brand purpose is really about creating human driven innovation that defies barriers to progress.”

The strategy at Samsung, he said, is to find moments where brand purpose intersects with cultural trends, cutting through the noise and leading to meaningful conversations with customers. In this case, the cultural trend overlaps with the work Director X is doing and what he stands for.

“It really is about celebrating a mutual commitment to the creative community,” said Allard. “It’s about empowering that next generation of creators and storytellers through this program.”

The three young directors are Justin Abernethy, Justin Singer, and Kat Webber, while the artists are Anders, PLTO, and Liz Lokre.

“[Director X is] not only one of Canada’s most successful and prolific directors, his values as a creative align so perfectly with our brand purpose around innovation that defies barriers to progress,” said Allard. “That’s really where the magic happens, when you find a partner that believes in your brand purpose.”

Director X, aka Julien Christian Lutz, said he was drawn to the project in part because of his interest in how new technology and formats are transforming content creation. “I’m always very interested in what’s going on, and embracing what’s happening in the very moment,” he said.

If advertisers have been slow to adapt to the potential of new technology and new platforms (“I was always surprised that the lessons of Vine were not really embraced by the larger advertising world,” he said) Samsung is actually taking real steps to demonstrate the power to create content in new and exciting ways.

“We’re now at a place where you can shoot 4k video with your phone, where you can shoot slow motion, you have multiple lenses, you can shoot underwater. There’s all this amazing things you can do,” he said. Samsung is using that technology to make something real and prove what is possible.

One of the videos will be shot in-studio using a vertical format, another will use horizontal narrative format more appropriate for filmmakers, while a third will use a square format and include underwater footage.

“We’re really embracing all the elements—what’s the new thing, the new talent, the new music, the new technology, the new platforms, the new aspect ratios. We’re throwing our arms around it and doing it,” said Director X.

While some of the music video content has already been shot, there is still some shooting to be completed. Samsung isn’t saying when the content will be released.

The behind-the-scenes content, meanwhile, is being produced by Corus’s so.da as part of “Twitter Originals fueled by soda,” a new partnership with Twitter announced at the Corus upfront earlier this year. #PowerUp is the first content series to roll out through that partnership.

“We had seen such tremendous success with the custom content we were creating for brands on our Corus channels, that Twitter asked if we would partner with them to create bespoke content for brands to run on the advertisers’ own social handles,” said Dervla Kelly, Coru’s senior vice president of marketing and so.da.

While this is a social-first campaign, the videos will also air on the Corus property ET Canada, accompanied by an interview with Director X.

David Brown