This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here.

Winning the Olympics with Samsung Mobile and #DoWhatYouCant

  • thumbnail

    Get Flash to see this player.

  •  Thumbnail
  •  Thumbnail


Starcom discovered that for such a large global organisation, people know surprisingly little about what the Samsung brand stands for – a brand that has a history in challenging conventions and defying barriers in technology and innovation. The Olympics provided the ideal platform to align the Samsung brand with the barrier-defying moments that the Olympics are so well loved for. 

Rather than focus on sports, the agency used sports as a lens to highlight obstacles that have been overcome and the real, human stories of the athletes. The stories that people would connect with and that reflect Samsung’s brand promise to continue defying barriers.

Prior to the Games, it identified potential moments from around the world that may align with this criteria and scenario-planned around them, preparing responses to be executed if they happened. During the Games, it continued to identify stories and events that reflected the brand promise and published relevant content within minutes that was amplified with paid media support.


Samsung’s Olympics campaign aimed to unite people globally to celebrate these inspirational stories of real people. Samsung more specifically wanted those who weren’t sports fans to engage in Olympics’ content, through the use of personal and inspiring stories from athletes. 

Starcom's approach was not about the Michael Phelps’ and already world-famous athletes. Instead it celebrated athletes who had faced adversity at every step of their journey but refused to give up. These included Kieran Behan – who was told after a serious brain injury that he was unlikely to walk again, but became only the second ever Irish gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.

Achieving success with this strategy required high levels of agility to create real-time reactive content on social media. Getting the right people together was crucial to enable lightning fast responses; the team of 32 included Samsung, lawyers, Publicis Media Content, sports content partners, strategists, analysts and creatives.


Through monitoring social conversations, hashtag usage and sentiment, the agency tailored its content in real-time to the most engaging topics and moments.

For example; Fiji had never won an Olympic medal and their Men’s Rugby Sevens team made the final. Starcom created responses for each outcome so when Fiji won Gold it had ad units pushed live within minutes, congratulating them across Facebook, Twitter and display. 

It was able to push real-time content like this across 62 paid media posts globally during The Games.

Where applicable, content had budget up weighted based on conversational relevance and also to reflect time zones. For instance, Team GB’s dominance in the Velodrome prompted an increase of spend on cycling posts in Britain. Singapore saw Samsung celebrating their first ever gold in the same manner.

Budget weighting tactics also reflected a market’s interest in a sport, Fiji’s heroism was especially distributed across countries that have a high Rugby fan base to ensure relevance, driving optimal engagement. 

When live events didn’t have a stand-out story that would fit the overall campaign sentiment, rather than being silent it used pre-prepared content featuring athletes that were relevant to the campaign.

This campaign generated over one billion impressions across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr globally.


This approach allowed Starcom to keep Samsung at the top of people’s newsfeeds for the 16 days of the Olympics.  

Brand consideration rose by 9%, and 60% of people said they were likely to purchase Samsung the next time they bought a mobile device vs 54% for its competitor (Source: OnDevice).

Throughout the 16 days of the Olympics it delivered 390 million engagements across eight countries with one in 10 people who were exposed to communications engaging with them (by liking or retweet instantly).

Samsung’s key target markets boasted impressive engagement rates, Germany lead the pack with 10.2%. Brand consideration in France saw an increase of 10% to 75%, Italy increased an impressive 8% to a total of 93%.

The hashtag #DoWhatYouCant was mentioned 60,000 times, the most of all sponsors - beating Coke (42,000) and P&G (25,000) (Source: Brandwatch Media Monitoring).

Samsung Mobile was recognised by the media as the top Olympics sponsor of 2016, dominating headlines globally. Numerous media outlets including Marketing Week, PR Week and AdAge proclaimed Samsung as the most talked about brand of Rio 2016 beating Coke, P&G and VISA.

Have Your Say

Please register to add comments.

Samsung Mobile
Electronic Goods
August - August 2016
Media Channel:

Cream Shuffle

Stuck for ideas? Use our automated inspiration tool.

ShuffleClick to shuffle
  • Magnum
  • Thailand
Read more

Cream Subscribers

Other C Squared Products

logo 2013 small

© C Squared Networks Ltd.

115 Southwark Bridge Rd,
London, SE1 0AX.

Registered Number: 8391925
VAT REG NO: GB158 9727 52

Umbraco development
by Vizioz