Making a global tech giant feel Kiwi

With local businesses becoming increasingly important to consumers, particularly younger generations, global brands must seek to build a local presence and become a part of the community in order to build the kind of connection consumers now crave.  

So, how does a global brand with multiple products and markets become locally relevant?

For the past two years, Tribal Aotearoa has worked with tech giant Samsung New Zealand to connect the brand with its Kiwi audience, delivering creative social first and digital campaigns that tell the New Zealand story, tap into the human experience and deliver results.  

As their lead creative agency, Tribal handles every phone launch for Samsung New Zealand and produces dozens of photos and videos every month while also managing their social following across Instagram, Facebook, You Tube – and now TikTok. 

Having grown by almost 200,000 followers since 2020, Samsung now has the largest social following of any brand in New Zealand and a genuinely engaged audience.  

Simon Smith, Head of Corp Marketing Samsung New Zealand says their success on social media is indicative of how important it is for brands to ensure their content reflects their audience.  

“As our main form of marketing in New Zealand, social media is really the only channel that we can own and have creative control over but prior to working with Tribal, we were struggling to gain traction – the global content we were sharing wasirrelevant, we were missing the boat on viral trends and our audience seemed disengaged. 

“Through innovative concepts and authentic partnerships with local influencers and creatives, Tribal has reshaped our local social strategy and content to ensure we are consistently sharing a modern vision of New Zealand that really resonates with Kiwis while also amplifying Samsung’s brand message. I would go so far as to say that social media is now crucial to our success in New Zealand.”

James Blair, Managing Director at Tribal Aotearoa says social media has been an incredible tool for Samsung, allowing them to build a local presence while still maintaining a cohesive message as a global brand. 

“Social media plays a role in driving local relevance, but it is just the channel. It’s no longer enough for global brands to simply have social media accounts that distribute the same global assets in languages that correspond to their markets. 

“Brands like Samsung must communicate authentically with their local audiences by creating the right content, with the right influencers and the right messages that their local audience can actually relate to.”

The past year has seen Tribal and Samsung team up with local creatives and influencers like photographer Benn Jae to create a series of episodes featuring photography tips using the Galaxy S21 Ultra, and partner with dancer Lance Savali, musician Jess B and DJ Sin Howard to form #TeamGalaxy, creating a range of content highlighting their specific talents over YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. 

For the launch of the latest Galaxy Z series phone, they partnered with Spirit of Adventure CEO Bruce Pilbrow, Model/DJ Abeiku Eshun, and Pilates Instructor Laura Mohi to review the Galaxy Z Flip3 and Z Fold3. The campaign ran on social platforms, YouTube, and OOH, generating half a million views.   

Also last year, Tribal and Samsung New Zealand caused a global stir when they created iTest, a web application that mimics the operating system of an Android device to lure Apple loyalists towards Samsung products. Spending just $200 on media, there were two million downloads in the first weekend alone and iTest has since been downloaded by more than 10 million users worldwide. This campaign has been won a slew of awards, including a Grand Prix and a gold at the recent Spikes Asia Awards 2021 as well as several awards, including a Grand Prix at the Axis awards.

Smith says Tribal’s ability to provide a creative and human lens to their products and services across social media has been invaluable, and iTest in particular demonstrates the power of a good idea that can be amplified across numerous channels. 

“When we briefed Tribal to help  drive relevance of our smartphones in New Zealand, we never expected they would deliver a campaign so innovative that it would gain global recognition. 

“This campaign shows how great creative has the ability to cut through even the most hard-wired consumer behaviour. Tribal Aotearoa’s ability to deliver unforgettable digital experiences has completely changed the way people are able to experience Samsung.”

Samsung New Zealand’s social growth has also translated to commercial gains. Despite lockdowns, stock issues and supply constraints, last year was a good year for  Samsung New Zealand’s from a revenue perspective.

“We are the smallest market, with the smallest budget, in the region, but we really get results – and I have to credit Tribal for driving this growth,” says Smith. “Giving campaigns local relevance is one of the challenges of the job and Tribal’s ability to be agile and creative means we can stay ahead of viral trends, generate relevant content while also ensuring key messages are delivered, the needs of the market is met, and produced in such a way that Samsung is always recognisable and consistent to the consumer.

“Tribal has become integral to the success of Samsung in New Zealand, they’re a trusted pair of hands and I can’t wait to see what we do next.”

About Author

Elle Dorset is an Account Director at Mango Communications.

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