Samsung's Social Media Campaign Personalizes Olympics

Samsung, a global Olympic sponsor for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, is launching a multiplatform social media campaign designed to personalize the Olympic experience for viewers. The program is being implemented through Facebook Connect and will be promoted on online and traditional media.

Dubbed the U.S. Olympic Genome Project, the campaign, which will kick off in about a month, will enable Facebook users to create a “family tree” that shows how users are connected to athletes on the U.S. Olympic team.

Connections might be coming from the same hometown or attending the same school at one point, said Ralph Santana, senior vice president, chief marketing officer, Samsung Olympics. Santana said the idea is allow Olympic fans to “create a story about how you’re personally connected to the Olympic movement” -- a story that can then be shared with the Social Graph.

Speaking at the 2012 Association of National Advertisers TV & Everything Video Forum in New York Thursday, Santana disclosed the project as a way to illustrate his view that marketers have to “recalibrate” the traditional 360 degree marketing model, which puts the brands at the center of the communications strategy, surrounded by numerous “touchpoints” that consumers come into contact with a on a regular basis.

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The problem with the model, said Santana, is that the number of touchpoints is growing so rapidly that marketers tend to “sprinkle money all over the place and not necessarily in the most effective ways." The “new 360” strategy, he said, should surround a brand by consumer behaviors, such as shopping, research, participating, purchasing, sharing. Each behavior, in turn, would link to smaller sets of touchpoints.

“Consumers are more involved” than ever before, he noted. Thus, marketers need more dynamic communications plans. Media platforms have to be created in a way that enable consumers and brands to both create and tell their stories.

The world of multiple screens and devices are “changing the viewing experience,” said Santana. That experience is evolving into one that is shared, communal and “participative.”  

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