- Canadians believed that LG made high-quality phones, but they still worried about what their friends would think if they owned one.
- We took a new approach to launch LG VELVET, putting feelings before features to focus on the visceral experience of using one.
- Our campaign, “Reshape your senses,” was designed to make people fall in love with LG VELVET before they even started their research.
- The launch was LG’s most successful phone launch in Canada in years, leading to an 82% increase in market share year-over-year.
We have a different, more intimate relationship with our phones than we have with other electronics like televisions or dishwashers. We carry them with us all the time, and by some estimates we interact with them 100 times a day or more. And because we use our phones out in the world, other people see what brand we have and make judgements based on that.
This was central to LG's struggle in the smartphone market. Many of LG’s earliest smartphones were hits with consumers, who still remember them fondly.
But by 2020, LG ranked a distant third in market share behind Apple and Samsung, and each of its largest competitors was outspending them by a factor of ten or more. Meanwhile, aggressive challengers like Google, Motorola, and Huawei were close behind.
Reviews for LG phones were consistently good, and customer satisfaction scores were high. Interviews with consumers revealed that people did believe that LG made high-quality phones — but that they still worried about what their friends would think if they owned one.
Previous LG phone launches had focused primarily on features, sometimes unique but gimmicky ones like gesture controls or dual screens. The consumer research suggested that the launch for LG VELVET needed to take a different tack.
We love our phones less for what they can do than for how they make us feel.
Get consumers to fall in love with LG VELVET by focusing on the visceral experience of using one.
In his book Emotional Design, Don Norman wrote, “Technology should bring more to our lives than the improved performance of tasks: it should add richness and enjoyment.” This sentiment fit well with LG’s mission: innovation for a better life.
The launch campaign for LG VELVET turned LG’s previous efforts on their heads by dividing the work into three stages:
The Covet tactics began with an advertising campaign unlike anything else in the category. Under the tagline ”Reshape your senses,“ digital ads conveyed the experience of using LG VELVET through luscious photography and counterintuitive headlines.
LG also partnered with three Canadian designers, George Sully, Hayley Elsaesser, and Beurd Clothing, to design the LG VELVET Time Capsule collection, comprising fashion-forward pieces that brought to mind the comfort, joy, and functionality of using the phone.
The Justify tactics included digital and social advertising that focused on key features of the phone, such as the camera and 5G speeds, but expressed them through the lens of how they make people feel. A public relations program ensured that LG VELVET review units made it into the hands of the tech journalists and influencers people trust for information on what to buy.
Finally, Buy tactics included special offers like a gift with purchase for preorders, as well as comarketing arrangements with wireless carriers. These comarketing arrangements were carefully coordinated so that consumers were presented with a consistent impression of LG VELVET, from mass advertising all the way through to in-store marketing.
Every element of the campaign followd a simple rule: feeling first, features second. The goal was to make people fall in love with LG VELVET even before they knew what it could do, how it worked, or what it cost.
The mission to reshape perceptions of LG phones was a great success.
LG VELVET was LG’s strongest smartphone launch in Canada in many years, and the Canadian market proved to be a bright spot for LG globally.
Consumers were struck by one of the most beautiful phones out there, and press reviews were strong.
The initial allotment of preorders quickly sold out. Inspired by this success, LG made the unprecedented decision to introduce two additional colours to the Canadian market in November.
The campaign helped LG improve its market share in the segment by 82% compared to the year before.
As it turned out, the LG VELVET would be the final major LG phone launch worldwide. But in Canada, the campaign went out on a very high note.
And that feels pretty good.
- LG Electronics
- Forsman & Bodenfors, Toronto
- PHD, Toronto
- Reprise, Toronto
- Public relations
- LG-One, Toronto
- Head of Marketing (LG)
- Robin Powell
- Brand Manager, Mobile Communications (LG)
- Andrea Candela
- Executive Creative Director (Forsman)
- Glen D’Souza
- Copywriter (Forsman)
- Steve Whittingham
- Art Director (Forsman)
- Jason Florentino
- Strategy Director (Forsman)
- Cameron Fleming
- Group Account Director (Forsman)
- Masha Bogdanova
- Account Supervisors (Forsman)
- Amir Kolia and Skye Gandy
- Account Director (PHD)
- Ellie Longhin
- Digital Activation Supervisor (PHD)
- Cara Alix
- Planning Manager (PHD)
- Melinda Woitzik
- VP, Strategy (Reprise)
- Cynthia Steele
- Associate Director of Strategy (Reprise)
- Siobhan Mondesire
- Senior Strategist (Reprise)
- Beza Getachew
- Vice President (LG-One)
- Lindsay Williams
- Account Supervisor (LG-One)
- Jon Koidis