Authenticity POVs

Let’s work as one towards dignity for all

How do you manage a failure to become one of the most successful launches? Samsung has the answer.

Behind the failure of Samsung 7, there’s a drastic turnaround when they created a collaboration between agencies (rather than pitching, they just gathered them all). Rooted deeply within the brands DNA of defying barriers (confined), the agencies come up with a campaign “Unbox your phone” (unconfined) that reduces the confiner of the phone (home button, curved-side, etc.). Brand sentiment recover from 20 points to 50 points just like before the fail.

The most powerful example is what the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, did to the rebellion army. Authenticity got challenged when fake news divided the country – fake news created uncertain fears and “Fear is the number 1 driver for people to say no to peace,” he said. But thinking 'outside-the-glass' and creativity have made it possible to create the opposite outcome: like 1) sending peace message through the river, 2) making Christmas Tree in the middle of the jungle, and 3) hijack the enemy’s radio and act as the command center. The result? 40 years of war was ended. (Question: is it government or the rebels who created the fake news?)

The same case happened in the early days of Tomorrowland when it was only attended by 8,000 people – failure to achieve its projected participants of 15,000 – they made a tremendous lost. Today Tomorrowland has transformed itself from a “Food & Music Festival” to a “Global Journey” (that manages 70,000 people from around the word). And now they position themselves as a “365 Worldwide Media” that produce contents and manages the whole community every day. I think one of drivers to its success is that it holds strongly to the belief of “one world for everyone” – like music. Endorsement and collaboration happened with the Brussel Airlines for the transportation (and some 2,000 networks of trains, buses, and others), Ban Ki Moon with his remarks of “Let’s work as one towards dignity for all.”, and Armin van Burren with his music magic.

Such patterns also definitely happens in the world of sport, as Steven Gerrard, a former Liverpool player, pointed out, “rather than accepting all the brands, we prefer to stick only to one-or-two brand but we love authentically.”

I think, brand needs more collaboration than ever. With YouTubers, with DJ, with Secretary-General of the United Nations, soccer players, or any other that is willing to go fail and success together (what about the rebels?).


The challenge is, however: translating the brand identity  into a campaign is not as easy as in the case study or seminar like in Cannes Lions, it requires a deep understanding of cultural trends, media usage, and a little bit willingness to take risk. Because, when it fails, it is hard to pick ourselves up.

Written by Suhendi Pusap