- Samsung unveiled a geolocated augmented reality (AR) experience inspired by "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," the latest chapter in the science fantasy epic that hits theaters this week. Samsung's "Invasion with Galaxy" campaign consists of a staggered rollout of AR content in select cities as fans get ready to see the movie, according to press details shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Until Dec. 22, Galaxy owners can see a virtual invasion of "Star Wars" spaceships when they point their smartphones at the sky in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington. Samsung will roll out AR content nationwide from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2.
- To see the virtual invasion, Galaxy owners need to download the Samsung Members app, which helps customers connect with the company and other Samsung owners. Samsung's agency of record R/GA worked with Pl.ai, Disney, ILM, Edelman, Starcom, VerifiedWorks, Publicis Sapient, Merkle and HelloWorld on the campaign.
Samsung's "Invasion by Galaxy" aims to build on the almost inescapable publicity for the latest "Star Wars" movie while boosting membership for its Samsung Members app. By creating AR content that's only available in the app, the electronics maker can highlight the benefits of signing up for the service, which provides a news and community hub for people who own Samsung's products.
As Samsung seeks to fend off competition from Apple's iPhone and makers of lower-cost Android phones, the company needs to build loyalty among Galaxy owners by offering content and other services that aren't available elsewhere.
Samsung's latest campaign follows prior marketing tie-in's with "Star Wars," including specially branded mobile devices. The company last week started shipping the "Star Wars Special Edition" version of its Galaxy Note 10+. The limited-edition smartphone comes with color-coordinated Galaxy Buds wireless headphones, a metal collectors badge and an embossed leather case showing Kylo Ren, the villain from the movie, Android Central reported.
Samsung's campaigns come as the global smartphone market shows signs of expanding again after almost two years of declines. Worldwide smartphone shipments rose 0.8% in Q3 to reverse a seven-quarter decline, according to International Data Corp. Samsung gained share with annual growth of 8.3% following the release of the Galaxy Note 10 launch in August and greater shipments of its A series devices, the researcher said.
Samsung joins Porsche, United Airlines, Dannon, Bose, GE appliances, McDonald's and General Mills as major brand partners with Disney around the release of "The Rise of Skywalker," which caps off the nine-film Skywalker saga. "Invasion by Galaxy" follows Facebook Messenger's introduction of its first branded chat themes, an Amazon and Alexa activation and an in-game "Fortnite" exclusive footage screening that all featured elements from the movie.