Launching the new Samsung S20

Vodafone | Launching the new Samsung S20 by hiding them in people’s living rooms 

Big handset launches only come about twice a year, so when Samsung was about to launch the new S20 all the major network providers shouted loud about availability and price. But not Vodafone. We decided to hide them in people’s living room and encouraged people to hunt for them by creating an Augmented Reality scavenger hunt, resulting in a record increase in Vodafone’s share of Samsung handset sales.

Vodafone’s conundrum -
Handset first, Network second.

New handset launches are a big reason for people to switch mobile network provider in the UK. So when Samsung, the largest manufacturer of handsets in the UK, launched their latest tantalising, fully loaded S20, mobile networks needed to persuade consumers that they are the best.

While other network providers turned to advertising to hero the availability of the new handset on their network, we needed to LIVE technology in our campaign to make Vodafone more salient for the S20.

So we created an Augmented Reality (AR) game.

Driving desirability by creating scarcity through a scavenger hunt in AR.

The standard approach to advertising was not enough. We needed to get our audience to actively hunt out the new S20 through a bespoke Vodafone gaming platform. Working in partnership with Verizon Media, Block V and MKTG, we created a digital scavenger hunt. 

Rather than using media to tell people about the new S20 on Vodafone, regionally targeted media across Verizon’s platforms gave out clues as to where the S20s might be hidden.

Once players had worked out where the S20s were hidden, they were encouraged to go to the location, open up the game, and scour the location in AR. The first to grab the prize, won! 

Here comes the science bit.

The game itself used Geolocation AR Technology to help users to hunt for 20 hidden handsets across five cities and utilised block-chain technology to share unique digital objects, called Vatoms. Once the Vatoms had been found, players could redeem them to see if they had found an S20. 

...And then came COVID! - As lockdown was announced, we couldn’t just abandon this outdoor hunt. So we reinvented it in just five days.

From an outdoor scavenger hunt in five cities to a nationwide one in your living room.

To change the game to everyone’s doorstep, we had to innovate the geolocation parameters. Instead of going out to specific city street locations to find Vatoms, users could drop a pin in their current location (i.e. home) and begin finding Vatoms dropped in a radius around them. Every day between 11 am-2 pm, registered players could hunt the Vatoms behind their sofa by switching to an AR view. We released more Vatoms nationwide to ensure greater user engagement.

Our influencers across Verizon pivoted from dropping city-based clues on handset locations, to drumming up excitement around playing the game at home, with instructions on how to play, and what time pins would be released.

Turning augmented reality into a business reality.

Vodafone increased its share of Samsung sales from 15% to 20% in a market that was down 25%. 

The game attracted over 437,000 visitors with 166,000 active players running around their homes (and even hospitals) playing a total of over 506,000 times, collecting 12,000 prizes and each playing for an average of over three minutes. 

So engaged were users in lockdown that we surpassed our registered users target in week two and had to up weight the number by 250%.

Dan Mogridge

Working with Verizon Media, Carat and The Story Lab, we were able to create unlimited experiences for our customers to win the latest Samsung S20 5G. Through the use of block chain, AR and multiple media touch-points, this solution drove excitement and scale, generating a year’s worth of time spent with the brand whilst the whole nation was in lockdown!

Dan Mogridge Media Manager, Vodafone UK
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