Samsung Gives Fans Interactive Shout Out

Fans have always been considered the "12th Man" for their hometown football team. This season, they've been able to give their gridiron heroes a shout-out from jumbo TV screens at a dozen NFL stadiums, through a new consumer-generated content contest from Samsung.

Cheil Communications, online agency for Samsung, created a site that dovetails with the company's "See Everything" offline campaign, which touts Samsung's newest LCD HDTV clarity, by inviting fans to tell the world what their new, clearer vision allows them to see. Comments are voted on by site visitors, and the top four are played on jumbo screens at up to twelve stadiums each week.

"There's so much football imagery out there, we wanted to find a way to get the message out and get the fans involved, because this is definitely the demographic we want for the product," says David Glitzer, director of interactive communications at Cheil. "It's a big hook for you to create something online, send it to your friends, get them to vote for it."

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The integrated Samsung HDTV campaign, from Samsung's global brand agency Leo Burnett, includes four 15-second TV spots starring a legendary quartet of quarterbacks--Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino, Steve Young and Troy Aikman--with print and radio spots as well.

"We want to have synergy with the offline work, but it can't just be a repeat of what people have already seen," Glitzer says. "They'll tune it out. It doesn't resonate."

Cheil also brokered the deal that made Samsung the official HDTV of the NFL, and designed the interactive Web site and promotion. In addition to submitting their "shoutouts," the Web site has sections where visitors can listen to music that the NFL's stars use to get game-ready, as well as learn more about HDTV technology with a cheerleader-guided video tour.

Glitzer says that while visitors vote for the winner, entrees are screened by both Samsung and the NFL. "We get a large number of marriage proposals. 'I love Jenna C., I think she's awesome,' that sort of thing. I'm sure she is awesome, but that's not what fans necessarily want to see."

The site and contest went live October 1, and is seen in stadiums including the Saints' Louisiana Superdome, Panthers' Bank of America Stadium and Giants' Stadium. The weekly contest will continue through the regular season and possibly into the post-season depending on whether participating teams qualify.

Glitzer says the most effective part of the campaign is keeping it wed to the offline campaign. "Consumer Generated Content is the big buzz right now....and it's easy to have users generate content, but to get people to stay on message, it's hard."

As of 4 p.m. Monday, the top vote-getter for the week was: "I'm sorry I said, 'I've seen better hands on the Venus de Milo.'"

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