Live attendees could access a product experience center featuring over 550 Samsung products.
There is a lot at stake with product launch events and, perhaps, a little more so for the biannual Samsung Unpacked. A few fun facts: This year, there were more than 1.5-times the audience that the Oscars pull in viewing the Samsung Unpacked live-stream as it unfolded. That’s 44 million people tuning in virtually throughout the world. And then there were the 3,000 attendees from the media within the event venue, this year at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium arena in San Francisco. Samsung Unpacked 2019 coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Samsung Galaxy phone, and there were more products launched at this flagship event than in any other year (agencyEA, Chicago, handled).
“While the delivery of new product information is at its core, Unpacked is much more than just a straightforward product introduction—it’s an impactful brand showcase,” says John Jeon, senior event producer at Cheil Worldwide, Samsung’s internal marketing group. And so, Samsung needed to provide the live-stream viewers with “an equal to, if not better than” experience than those physically present. “Samsung has a global reach and we wanted to cater to remote viewers in as many locations as possible,” Jeon says.
Here, five insights behind Samsung Unpacked and producing launch events with the physical, and virtual, audience in mind.
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1. There were a lot of secrets. And then teasers.
According to Jeon, confidentiality is key to building anticipation among members of the media and among brand partners. “To create the ideal product launch experience, no audience members (in-person or online) should be able to predict what’s next. Everything—from the actual products and their attributes to the key show moments and presentation content—is unexpected,” says Jeon.
To help generate buzz, the brand custom-designed invitations and teaser images on Samsung’s social media channels and website. When the physical attendees arrived on-site, they saw generic Samsung Unpacked and Galaxy branding and signage—but during the show, all of the signage was flipped to graphics that revealed the new products launched during the event. So, as attendees exited the auditorium, they had an additional touchpoint in 12-foot-tall imagery of the new Samsung products.
2. Pre-production was a big deal.
The production team included a full content management crew, managers of all the visual and graphic assets, script managers (one for every presenter) and more. There was an offline rehearsal room, too, complete with a teleprompter. And then there were rehearsals for filming, as crews worked out angles for product demos and for the 12 different cameras leveraged for the show, footage that would be live-streamed and edited for on-demand viewing. For the live-stream, the team leveraged multiple streaming platforms, including YouTube, Brightcov and Samsung.com.
3. It was all about the staging and screens.
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