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Samsung was named as the most shared brand of 2013 during Unruly's inaugural Video Sharing Awards (VSAs) held at the end of 2013.
Samsung achieved a total of 7.3m shares during last year. This is 2.3m more shares than second-placed GEICO and, according to Unruly, Samsung achieved a 201% increase on the previous year when it finished in eighth place.
Before we take a look at the best, and occasional worst, of Samsung’s social video strategy, here are the rest of Unruly's top ten social video brands of 2013. The figures of which account for shares across Twitter, Facebook and other social web platforms, rather than merely looking at the number of views on YouTube.
Last year’s number one brand, Google, has completely dropped out of the top ten and is now placed at number 12.
How has Samsung achieved its social video success and helped remove Google from office? Let’s take a look at Samsung's YouTube channel, highlighting the best of Samsung’s video marketing, along with a look at Samsung's latest social video venture, Vine.
Here’s the Samsung Mobile YouTube home page.
To say this is a comprehensive video homepage is an understatement. Here you have access to all the videos for every Samsung product and marketing campaign, with bold tabs across the top taking the user to key areas.
Within each area you’re presented with a highlighted video, with many more relevant videos below. The #GALAXY11 tab for instance reveals a series of mini-adverts from various global sporting celebrities who I haven’t heard of endorsing the latest Samsung product.
Oh wait, I believe this one’s Wayne Rooney.
The #SMARTMOVE page features a cheery montage of various Samsung users being interviewed by equally cheery presenters on how the Galaxy Note3 has made their lives better.
Sure it’s unwatchably perky at times and perhaps too blatantly staged, but it is still a very effective user guide and shows off the mobile’s unique features superbly. It has comfortably amassed 1.8m views in less than a month.
Not local enough for you? Look to the top right of the homepage and you can see specific channels tailored for each of Samsung’s major territories. Of particular note is Samsung Mobile UK.
Here Samsung has altered what we users perceive to be a typical looking YouTube homepage and created something completely bespoke and modern looking.
The content on this page is primarily focussed on Samsung’s ‘Over to You’ series of videos. Where YouTubers and competition winners road-test five Samsung smartphones in increasingly bizarre and innovative homemade videos.
None of these videos have particularly set the world alight in terms of views, but they do show Samsung’s strong commitment to user generated content, and by using the talents of popular YouTubers to make these promos, Samsung is trying to find a way around the difficulties that brands have in making an impact on YouTube.
The most popular video on this channel, with 368,334 views, is by Sam Pepper, the self-proclaimed ‘most versatile and accomplished host/presenter/actor in England’.
In this video, after seeing his first ever sunrise, Sam goes and plays on some railway tracks with his mates, then accidentally shows off the Samsung phone's relative indestructibility.
Sam Pepper’s previous work includes a three-minute long video where he mumblingly asks a series of girls to make-out with him on Venice beach and succeeds every time. It’s been viewed 7.2m times. In my day all we had to watch was 'Why Don't You'. I'm not sure who belongs to the luckier generation, but I do know that I fear the answer.
Moving on. Here is Samsung’s most effective social video success of 2013. The Galaxy S4 Sound & Shot commercial.
It’s a nicely shot and emotive piece of storytelling that shows off the key feature of the smartphone with clarity and subtlety. This has achieved 2.5m views, and certainly helped Samsung become Unruly’s brand of the year.
This ad sits in stark contrast with Samsung Mobile’s other major campaign in 2013. ‘Are You Geared Up?’ advertises the Galaxy Gear smart watch and has many commentators proclaiming it as the worst advert of 2013.
It’s hard to disagree.
Let's speed our way to a channel where Samsung is producing far more consistently rewarding work.
If you’ve been following the Econsultancy blog, and in particular our regular posts on the best branded Vines, you’ll already know that Samsung is creating some of the best branded examples.
Here Samsung tops the chart for 2013’s 15 best branded Vines, and here let's look at some more highly creative examples.
This is Samsung’s first ever Vine, uploaded in June, on the exact same day that Vine was made available on Google Play for Android users.
This immediately set the tone for what would follow over the next six months. Mind-bendingly clever and hugely innovative, with a winning lo-fi charm that perhaps betrays its corporate roots.
That’s the beauty of Vine. It’s the great leveller. You only have six seconds to do something memorable, and almost because of that time constraint and perhaps because it’s so early in Vine’s lifetime that specific metrics have yet to be defined in terms of ROI, brands aren’t spending huge amounts of money on them.
With some technical proficiency, a good deal of talent and time, any low-budget Vine user can create something equally brilliant. Samsung’s Vines can be considered genuinely inspirational.
Currently Samsung has yet to get to grips with Instagram's video service Instavid in the same it has mastered Vine, merely using the 15 second-long form to provide teaser trailers for longer YouTube content.
However, perhaps 2014 will be the year Samsung expands its social video empire with this brand new, ever so slightly larger playground.
For a similar article, read how Oreo owned social media in 2013 through Instagram, Twitter, Vine and Pinterest.