Cell Phone vs Human – Samsung’s Staring Contest

The Challenge

Sixty minutes? Can I stare at a cell phone that long? That was the question going through the minds of the curious who stopped at the Samsung kiosk set up at the Zurich Main Station in Switzerland. The rules stated it was okay to blink, but you couldn’t look away from the Samsung S4. If you could maintain your gaze for an hour it was yours. If you looked away, even for a second, you lost. And the phone,equipped with Samsung’s Smart Pause feature, would be the first to know.

And Now for the Rest of the Story

But Samsung didn’t tell the whole story. They left out the part about the crazed guitarist, the accordion player, the hot dog vendor, and the bickering couple. That was just a warm-up for the remote-control car gone a-mok, and the barely-restrained attacking dogs. Contestant after contestant fell prey to the parade of distractions.

The Content

In this era of cutting edge marketing strategies, Swisscom, a Swiss mobile company pulled off one of the best experiential marketing examples ever. And just as they planned, it’s gone viral on youtube. Now, not only those present in the train station, but everyone who’s viewed the video knows about Smart Pause, which as Mashable explains, is a feature wherein the S4 knows if you, in the midst of watching a video, look away. It then pauses the clip until you turn back, whereupon it resumes.

A marketing event like this cannot happen just anywhere. First and foremost a location must have lots of open space, and a steady stream of passers-by. Many venues in Miami would fit the bill. Chief among them is Soho Studios, a 65,000 sq ft multi-purpose Miami event space and convention center in the Wynwood District, that hosts fashion shows, commercial shoots, Art Basel events, trade shows. It’s a prime spot for any out-of-the-box event.

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