We’re big fans of Samsung - and we've been following the experiential work they've been doing for many years.
Most recently, we've had our eye on an incredible activation they put on for Vivid Sydney, an annual festival of light, music and ideas that includes outdoor immersive light installations and projections, performances by local and international musicians, and an ideas exchange forum featuring public talks and debates with leading creative thinkers.
The Samsung project, called the The Night. Reimagined is a multifaceted journey 'to reimagine the night' on the Sydney Opera House forecourt. It involves a spiraling aperture-inspired light show powered by the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. And for the big finale, visitors were given the opportunity to project a personalised AR Emoji onto the iconic face of Luna Park.
We wanted to find out more about how this incredible and unique experience came to be, so we went right to the source. We spoke to Jamie Skaltsounis, Senior Event & Experience Manager at Samsung Australia, to tell us how The Night. Reimagined was born.
1. How did Samsung come up with the concept for The Night. Reimagined?
The concept started with a really simple idea: How can we truly bring the AR Emoji feature of the Galaxy S9 to life on a large scale? To do this, the idea was to project people’s faces onto the iconic Luna Park façade at one of Australia’s largest and culturally relevant events – Vivid Sydney. We set out to literally change the face of Luna Park using the Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone. We also wanted to leverage our relationship as the Principal Partnership of the Sydney Opera House to build one of the most epic activations to land on the forecourt of the iconic location. We then looked at creating an activation that could hero the idea, our brand, the features of the Galaxy S9 and the underlying reason people come to Vivid Sydney – to see amazing light installations.
2. Samsung has an existing relationship with Sydney Opera House. How did you work collaboratively with them (and other stakeholders) to get this project off the ground?
As the Principal Partner of the Sydney Opera House, we are fortunate to be able to create unique experiences that many other brands wouldn’t have the opportunity to. But working collaboratively with the Sydney Opera House and Destination NSW was critical to the execution of the creative idea.
We had to be very mindful of the Heritage guidelines whilst also ensuring the design complemented the other activations and installations on and around the Sydney Opera House. Every aspect of the activation was thought through from the colour of the flooring, wind ratings, accessibility, patterns of the lighting effects and the viewing aspects from all angles.
From a tactical perspective, regular work in progress meetings were held and timelines ensured ample opportunity for approvals from all relevant stakeholders.
3. What were the biggest challenges you faced putting together The Night. Reimagined?
A big challenge was not knowing what to expect with the large crowds of people who attend Vivid Sydney, both from an operational and design point of view. It was also important to consider that the activation needed to be family-friendly, allowing children and people from all walks of life to have an amazing, unrivalled experience.
With such a constant flow of people, the design of the activation was critically important in ensuring that people could have both a passive or more engaged experience through either journey they chose to participate in.
It was also important for us to truly integrate the Samsung brand and features of the Galaxy S9 in truly meaningful ways. For example, the stunning aperture entrance to the activation is a tribute to the mechanical aperture design feature of the Samsung Galaxy S9 camera whilst the balcony allowed attendees to use the Samsung Galaxy S9 to take low-light pictures from one of the best views in Sydney, truly using the product as it’s intended to be used in such conditions.
4. The installation takes users on a unique sensory journey. Can you tell us what the experience entails?
Upon entering The Night. Reimagined. guests were surrounded by 2km of dynamic LED strip lighting as they made their way through the spiraling aperture structure to three incredible zones designed around the Galaxy S9 and S9+ features:
- AR Emoji Zone: Using the Galaxy S9, guests received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn their selfie into a personalised AR Emoji that was then transferred 1.1km across the Sydney Harbour to be projected onto the face of Luna Park. Only nine times in Luna Park’s 83-year history has its iconic face been changed and The Night. Reimagined. marks the first time it was done with a digital emoji.
- Super Slow-Mo Zone: While every part of The Night. Reimagined offered a unique Instagram-worthy moment, the Super Slow-Mo Zone featured chrome-plated balls bursting into the air. This took place in front of a mirror, so guests could capture mesmerising and instantly sharable slow-motion video selfies on the Galaxy S9.
- Low-Light Balcony – Standing 4.5m above the Sydney Opera House Forecourt, visitors had the opportunity to capture amazing low-light photographs using the Samsung Galaxy S9 with unrivalled views of the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House.
5. Attendees were also given a digital souvenir pack after the experience. What came in the pack and why were these items chosen?
Each attendee who completed the journey through The Night. Reimagined. received a piece of personalised content via SMS or email following their visit. In the pack, they received a 9-second super-slow mo video they created along the way, four unique GIFs of their own personalised AR Emoji as well as the hero shot of their AR Emoji on the face of Luna Park.
The live feed to Luna Park in the centre of the activation actually gave attendees the chance to see their AR Emoji change the face of Luna Park live, whilst a camera over at the theme park was actually taking a professional shot of façade, ready to send to them straight afterwards.
6. What has the response been to The Night. Reimagined experience so far?
The response has truly been phenomenal. We believe it has been Samsung Australia’s most successful experiential campaign to date.
More than 133,000 Australians visited The Night. Reimagined at Vivid Sydney, vastly surpassing our original expectations. Below are some results from The Night. Reimagined:
- Approximately 1,130 hours of development time
- 24 days of pre-build construction totaling over 4,700 hours
- 8 days of onsite construction
- 25 tonnes of infrastructure, equivalent to 18 Holden Commodores, on;
- 1,000 square metres of space outside the iconic Sydney Opera House – the size of four tennis courts.
- 2,000 metres of dynamic LED strip lighting – enough to reach from the Sydney Opera House Forecourt all the way back to Town Hall!
- 3,800 metres of power cabling
- 133,489 total visitors
- 17,502 AR Emoji’s created and projected on the Luna Park face
- 11,741 total super slow-mo videos created, totaling 105,669 seconds of super slow-mo footage
- 10,931 low light photos taken on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and shared to visitors*
7. Why did you choose to create such an immersive experience for consumers as opposed to following a more traditional marketing approach?
Nothing like this has ever been undertaken by Samsung in Australia and we believe The Night. Reimagined is a wonderful example of how we can collaborate with partners to bring the brand to life by placing our technology at the centre of an experience.
Enabling people to do things they never thought possible – by using our products – is at the heart of the Samsung brand. Creating a fun, authentic and memorable technology experience with Vivid Sydney and the Sydney Opera House has been incredible, and we’re excited to see where it could go next.
Want to learn how to create a fun, authentic and memorable experience for your brand? Sign up to our next live, digital and virtual experiences masterclass to find out how.