Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Samsung: Testing the true fans

The photographic adventures of Nick Turpin is the latest attempt by a global organization to reach out and let go.

The idea is simple.

Get a guy to use the new Samsung Pixon Camera Phone. Post the picture on a microsite, flickr and YouTube. Make the content easy to share and easy to keep track of through Twitter, email updates, GPS tracking and a few other cool tools. Then ask the tribe to lead the photographer on a 30 day adventure.

Everyday a picture is taken and posted. The tribe goes online and clicks on an area in the picture. The area of the picture with the most clicks determines what the following days photo will be. For the last 18 days, Samsung has managed to build a growing tribe of engaged followers. There are a couple of hundred followers on Twitter and around 1200 people assisting Nick with his adventure.

Nick's comments and his interpretation of the tribes request keep the story building. This only serves to increase the engagement and tighten the tribe. In the process, Samsung is testing their tribe, building a new tribe, and perhaps discovering an existing tribe it has not previously reached.

What I think is most impressive about this idea, beyond the simplicity, is Samsung's dedication to the project. Many companies 18 days into a 'campaign' would be looking for visitation of 'mass' proportions. They would get nervous, edit the positioning to feel more 'mass' oriented and water down the experience. This isn't the case. The experience feels genuine. There are no marketing optics. The momentum is given the room to grow at a natural rate. The results may not deliver the traditional reach of 1 million impressions, but will build a tight tribe of a few thousand true fans.

What's your impression? Any predictions on the long term success?

*Thanks to Martin Delaney for keeping me in the loop on this one... another conversation starter.