An Australian father was coming to terms with missing the birth of his third child due to work commitments in a remote part of Australia. Coincidentally, Samsung was looking for ways to illustrate the potential applications of virtual reality (VR) technology, using its newly released Gear VR headset.
To show what might be possible, Samsung used Gear VR to enable the father to watch the birth of his son live, from 4,000 kilometres away.
We had to ensure this globally relevant story captured attention all over the world.
This campaign was the world’s first virtual reality birth and was made possible using the Samsung Gear VR. However, the risk was that it could be seen as just another virtual reality story, and one that used technology for technology’s sake.
We had to take this beyond being a technology story and get to the heart of what made it compelling. And we had to ensure that the Samsung brand remained at the heart of it.
We told the story of FIFO worker Jace Larke, his wife Alison, and the birth of their child, by creating a piece of content that talked primarily to the human story of their separation, and the ability of technology to bring them closer together.
Called LifeLIVE, this story was a packaged up as a human interest story rather than a tech story, and crafted in a form that made it easy for the media to incorporate our pre-packaged content into their coverage.
Working closely with traditional journalists to ensure the content was also placed online and pushed out through their owned social channels was key to driving views of the content on a local level.
The news of the world-first virtual reality birth broke with an exclusive on Channel Seven News on Saturday evening. Additional exclusives organised under embargo continued with Australian and global television, online, print and radio news publishing their pieces at the same time.
A global partnership with Mashable ensured the news went viral quickly, with over 3,200 shares in a matter of minutes.
With momentum strong in Australia, we hit the UK and US media leveraging the coverage that had been secured locally which led to securing stories internationally as the views on the video grew to over 10 million in four days after lifting the embargo.
The goal was to show as many people as possible both in Australia and globally that technology can solve real life problems, in a way that is inspiring and rewarding.
Coverage in top-tier local and global media: Mashable, Forbes, FORTUNE, San Francisco Globe, Washington Post, GMA News, The Verge, Channel Seven, Channel Nine, Syndicated News Corp, Fairfax Media pieces, and more.
• Total potential campaign reach (via news media only): over 1.3 billion people reached globally within one month
• Total organic video views across all platforms (driven solely by PR): 14,000,000+
• Total minutes watched: 40,000,000+
• Average YouTube view duration: 3 minutes 22 seconds (over 50%)
• Key message penetration was 100% throughout all media coverage
• Relevance score of 90% from Facebook’s Brand Study. High positive feedback was also recognised across the video's viewers.
• 95% of coverage was favourable to Samsung and the project
• 89% of plays occurring on embedded videos on the news piece
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