Samsung Takes a “New” Approach to Content Marketing

Samsung teamed up with Foursquare to create Time Machine, a co-branded microsite that turns a consumer’s Foursquare history into content. Users can watch their history unfold in real time, get recommendations on the “next big thing” to visit and share their history in infographic form.

MoMA’s  Facebook Summer
Brands creating content with a consumer’s social data is not new. As early as 2009, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was recommending which exhibits Facebook users should see at the museum — after peeking at their data to curate each one a personalized list. The end result of this data share was the visual below. Users were also encouraged to invite their friends to join them on their visit.


Intel’s Consumer-Fueled Content Marketing
Over the past few years, some content marketing projects from Intel have tapped this approach, starting with the Facebook-based Museum of Me video project. Facebook users give Intel access to their profiles, and the brand effortlessly serves up an online video dedicated to each user’s Facebook profile. The videos are shared well beyond Facebook by users showing off their personal memories in video form.

What About Me was Intel’s follow up. Much like MoMA and Samsung, it taps into the popularity of the infographic as a way to encourage sharing.

While none of the above campaigns are sustainable, turning consumer behavior into shareable content creates engagement and raises awareness. As part of a larger strategy, brands can benefit from this approach.

“Turning consumer behavior into share-able content creates engagement and raises awareness. As part of a larger strategy, brands can benefit from this approach.”

Samsung’s “New” Approach to Content
Samsung’s campaign is new and different in a few ways.

Co-Branded: Facebook is usually the home of these campaigns, but Samsung used Foursquare for a much stronger mobile connection for its promotion of its Galaxy S4 smartphone.  Trading consumers’ personalized content in exchange for a peek at their personal data has gone a long way to helped decrease privacy concerns. But by integrating the platform into the experience more than other campaigns, Samsung also avoids potential consumer privacy concerns. Regardless, Samsung’s campaign is enhanced having Foursquare in the foreground.

Adding Utility: The consumer’s expectation is to get an infographic based on his Foursquare history. By adding the “next big thing” recommendations to the site, Samsung increased the level of utility in the experience. This increases the odds that consumers will share their content and builds a more positive connection back to the brand.

Fully Supported: I found Time Machine through a banner ad — paid media driving eyeballs to good content may sound counter-intuitive. But consumer attention spans are at an all time low. This in turn decreases content’s shelf life. Supporting content marketing with paid media is a critical component of a content distribution strategy.

Consumer Data as Content
Time Machine is a solid campaign, and in the aftermath of the NSA’s Prism scandal, it’s good to see brands are not steering clear of this proven approach to connecting with a consumer.

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David Germano
David Germano

David is the VP of Content Marketing for Empower Media Marketing, and runs Empower's Content Marketing division, Magnetic Content Studios. For more than 14 years, David has been helping brands develop sustained content marketing strategies and operate like media to build their own audiences. David is often speaking on the topic, and is a guest contributor to Content Marketing Institute.