Samsung launched its #TVblackout campaign on Friday with a series of trick ads that display static, then appear to turn the TV off for several seconds.
These black screen ads are designed to disturb viewers into thinking their TVs have malfunctioned, before stating, “This is your TV screen . . . most of the time, a void full of nothing.”
The message behind Samsung’s unusual ads is that while an unused TV is a glaring black screen, a QLED TV can display high quality images while in standby. The TV’s new “ambient mode” will even mimic the background behind it, making the TV less noticeable when hanging on a wall.
Samsung calls its disruptive spot a “world-first,” in that it features absolutely nothing to highlight “a new era for TV as ugly black screens are banished to history.”
— Samsung UK (@SamsungUK) May 25, 2018
#TVblackout includes over 200 TV spots across 10 days and will reach an estimated 49 million viewers. The technology brand specifically chose popular Friday night television programs to interrupt with the message, including Coronation Street, The Simpsons and First Dates.
Ads will also run during the Champions League final on Saturday, take over digital displays at Piccadilly Circus and before screenings of Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters.
The campaign was preceded this week by fake protesters spotted around the UK wearing TV screens over their heads, holding signs that said #TVBlackout or “No more blank screens.” Samsung’s protesters gained only modest attention on social media, but time will tell if the campaign gains more traction over the next 10 days.
Samsung targeted TV viewers with its latest campaign, but are also looking to gamers as the competition for 4K TV sales heats up. Last year, the company partnered with Microsoft to help promote the Xbox One X by connecting them to QLED TVs, calling the gaming industry “extremely attractive.”
According to estimates from Grand View Research, the global 4K TV market is expected to reach $380.9 billion by 2025.