Samsung came to Huge to for a creative, high-impact, one-of-a-kind way to introduce the world to its new motion control Smart TV technology. The global leader in consumer electronics wasn't looking for just another 30-second spot; Huge had to deliver something extraordinary that captured on the digital moment and the shift toward branded content. Huge teamed up with Usher, one of the best-selling music artists in history, to conceptualize and produce a 120-second digital film.
Our work began with a full understanding of the Smart TV, which features gesture controls that allow viewers to zoom in on images, adjust the volume and even navigate the menu using a flick of a wrist instead of a remote control. As if these features weren't innovative enough, this digital-era TV also creates an immersive social media experience for viewers.
Next, Huge needed to find a star who could work the product into his or her performance in a meaningful, natural way. Usher quickly emerged as the frontrunner not only because of his incredible dance skills, but for his overall style and ease of movement. Listening to his music, our creative team was particularly inspired by the new single, "Looking 4 Myself," with its theme of the struggle for identity. We explored concepts that amplified the affinity between Samsung's and Usher's brands, while always keeping the viewer top of mind.
Both Samsung and Usher were drawn to one script option, which Usher saw as a whole new way to express his song’s message. It was a story they both wanted to tell, and it’s the one we went with.
The final film features two Ushers facing off against each other, as “down-to-earth” Usher seeks revenge against “celebrity” Usher after fame causes the demise of his romantic relationship. The story follows the two Ushers as they battle each other in an elaborately choreographed dance routine across downtown Los Angeles. As the face-off between the two Ushers ensues, the gesture-controlled Samsung Smart TV plays a role in the film’s story in a variety of ways, such as when Usher’s dance moves control features of the Smart TV.
The video was launched on YouTube just a few days before the season finale of “The Voice,” the hit NBC Show which featured Usher as a celebrity coach. Even after initial paid media efforts were halted, the video’s views continued to climb by the millions. Just a month after launch, the film went viral and surpassed 50 million views, making it the fourth most-watched brand video of all time on YouTube.
Just a month after launch, the film surpassed 50 million views. It soon became one of the most watched branded videos of 2013 and Samsung's most successful video ever. The video was key to Samsung's recognition as 'Most Viral Brand' by Advertising Age in 2014 and was honored as "Best Electronics Online Video" in the 2014 IAC Awards. Supported by Huge’s earned media efforts, the campaign produced coverage in more than 250 media outlets, including Mashable, Advertising Age, Adweek, Complex and Vibe. In total this short film has introduced Samsung Smart TV technology to more than 200 million people worldwide.
The unique collaboration between Samsung, Usher and Huge is emblematic of the ways content is evolving to meet the needs of digital audiences. With its non-traditional length, placement and fusion of brand and story, the film sets a new standard for viral marketing. Instead of seeing it as a commercial, Usher’s fans saw the film as an online music video for his single that happened to be created by a brand. By adding value without being overly commercial, the digital film has earned its place among the top branded videos of all time.