Gaming is to Gen Z what TV was to Gen X: a consuming passion whose heroes, iconography, rituals, and slang define their generation. It’s now more obvious than ever that gaming has a place, if not the first place, in the entertainment preferences of young people, seeking refuge from the classic forms of content and wind-down activities. Romania has a vast pool of gaming fans who enjoy playing or even watching others play competitively or just for fun.
The long-term challenge for Samsung as a world leader in smartphones is to capitalize on the extraordinary interest for gaming among Gen Z. In order to do that, Samsung needed to tap into this immensely popular community by creating a platform that speaks the gamers’ language and offers tools and events which take gaming to the next level while promoting the best Samsung devices with top-of-the-line specs to perform at any stage.
Strategic business / marketing Challenge / competitive landscape
Gaming – the next marketing gold-rush
18% of Romanians are actively involved in gaming, and the local gaming industry is estimated at USD 130 mil. with a 2-digit yearly growth (Statista, June 2020). The top Romanian gamer is ranked 31st globally and is worth USD 2.2 million at the age of 24 (www.esportsearnings.com).
Sprite, Vodafone, Orange, BCR, Pringles, KFC, Pizza Hut, TP-Link, Lenovo, Philips, ASUS, Logitech, Playstation, Red Bull, PC Garage, Huawei, Penny, Red Bull have all been sponsors of the latest Bucharest Gaming Week. Marketing-wise, gaming looks like the next gold rush. And smart brands know it.
Smartphone – the device at the heart of the gaming phenomenon
Samsung does not sell games or gaming consoles. But it is the world leader in sales of the most popular gaming device ever: the smartphone. It is, therefore, a key goal in Samsung’s long-term strategy to establish a foothold in gaming and a strong connection to gamers. For this purpose, Samsung had been using its Play On with Samsung platform for gaming activations.
Problem – a Gen Z phenomenon, too few local mobile gaming experiences
The local gaming industry has developed tremendously lately, as more and more brands are turning their attention to the gaming community. Still, very few of them have turned their attention to those who love mobile gaming, even if, internationally, a gaming trend on the go is starting to take shape. Those who play exclusively on mobile are a completely untapped niche locally.
The Marketing Challenge
The long-term challenge for Samsung is to capitalize on the extraordinary interest in gaming among Gen Z. In order to do that, Samsung has to appeal to gamers through genuine experiences and unconventional product demonstrations.
Truth be told, there are plenty of Millennials among gamers. But the core group driving this global mega-trend are Gen Z kids and teens. It’s their culture that inspires gaming content, it’s their energy that drives e-sports tournaments, it’s their skill that is winning millions of dollars in trophies, it’s their ethos that’s driving the gaming subculture. Gaming is their game.
Depending on the event or opportunity, we focused on a specific audience, with strong interests. Using the ripple effect from the media strategy of a certain event, we were able to reach a bigger audience, making more people interested, curious, if not involved. Therefore, the macro audience represented the gamers from Romania, but the core target being the players and fans of League of Legends Wild Rift, the game that revolutionized e-sports and attracted millions of fans from all over the world.
Objectives and metrics
The purpose of the Play On with Samsung platform is simply to allow the mother brand to engage with gamers and establish a connection. By further promoting Samsung’s involvement in the gaming community, we show the brand’s support for gamers no matter the device and prove the technical prowess of our devices in any competition.
#PlayOnWithSamsung is the perfect opportunity to give the gaming community in Romania the platform to prove their skills and dexterity, with the chance to discover and win the devices that take gaming to the next level. So, the goal was for this competition to bring together the best teams to fight for the title of Kings of the Jungle in Runeterra, the famous land of the League of Legends, and to promote mobile gaming in Romania.
All this translates into reach (as many gamers as possible to find out about the Play On with Samsung gaming platform, about the first mobile gaming competition, about Samsung’s gaming ecosystem) and engagement (as many people as possible to enter in the competition).