Only last year Samsung was mocking those waiting in line for the iPhone 5 with this ad, but it seems the Korean tech giant has had a change of heart when it comes to queues with its Galaxy S 4 launch campaign in New Zealand (via Colenso BBDO).
Through getinline.co.nz Samsung fans and tech aficionados can join a virtual queue for the chance to be one of the first in the world (not quite as China and Russia may get theirs before us) to get their hands on the Galaxy S 4 when the handset launches on 27 April. Users put in their Facebook information to enter the draw, with their profile photos being used in a virtual waiting line at Auckland's Aotea Square, displayed on a 50x3m LED billboard. The avatars waiting in line dance, jiggle, pull out umbrellas when it's raining and drift off to sleep after 9pm.
As of 8am this morning, there were over 3000 people waiting in the virtual queue. This after only two days of promoting the site, says Samsung.
Users can get closer to the front of the line (and closer to one of the 627 prizes) by sharing the site with their Facebook and Twitter friends. The more people who comment on the shared posts, the more likely the user is to win.
Samsung NZ marketing director Mike Cornwell says this campaign isn't an about face on the culture of people waiting in lines for phones, instead it's a contrasting view of Apple fans and Samsung fans.
"Our competitors' fans might wait four hours in a physical line but Samsung consumers are a little bit more sophisticated and are more inclined to wait in a digital queue," he says.
Asked if the campaign risked being spammy on social networks, Cornwell says there was a lot of consideration put into that issue.
"It was an initial worry too. We've limited the number of times you can post a message to one to make sure it doesn't become spam," he says.
"People can get very competitive online between friends and that's the energy we're hoping to tap into."
Get In Line isn't the official site to actually pre-order the handset, the carriers each have their own pages for that – which could be a point of confusion for some.
The campaign is a lead-generation gold mine. Using email and network information gathered from entrants, Cornwell says Telecom, Vodafone, and 2degrees are able to send special offers for the handset to users who've already shown an interest in the device.
Cornwell says New Zealand is the only Samsung Galaxy S4 launch country to use Colenso's idea. Although other markets have shown interest, there wasn't enough time to incorporate it in overseas campaigns.
Idea and execution: Colenso BBDO
Production partner: Assembly
Digital billboard signage and skinning: RollerCoaster
LED billboard by Oceania