Hey, monks, keep that chanting down, I'm trying to watch Empire!
As if binge-watching your favorite TV show weren't enough of a religious experience, Samsung is taking it to new heights with a promotion called "The Catch-up Grant." Devised by DDB Stockholm, it will send one lucky winner to Thiksey, a Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas, more than two miles above ground, where he or she will get to watch TV for 100 days on Samsung's new SUHD with a 65-inch curved screen. (There's also a stipend, and the residency begins in November.)
"We thought it'd be fun if you would get paid for watching TV, just like a job, for a full year," DDB creative director Daniel Mencák tells AdFreak. "But we realized people would just do other stuff, so then we decided it would have to be at a place where you would do nothing else. And where the worldly distractions would be far, far away."
The competition is open only to folks from Nordic nations, and it runs through Oct. 4. Eight finalists will be chosen based on video submissions about how much trouble they're having keeping up with all the great TV out there. The final round in Stockholm will include lie-detector tests to determine if applicants really have been missing their favorite shows.
There will also be eye exams—for corrective lenses, if necessary—to ensure the winner can enjoy the Samsung SUHD's picture quality in all its 4K glory. But mostly participants will answer questions and a client-agency jury will make the final selection. Naturally, DDB will document the proceedings, including the mountaintop stay, so the whole world can binge-watch the binge-watching at their leisure.
Why a monastery? Mencák says other lonely locations were considered—Siberia, a lighthouse, even a maximum security prison—but "all of them lacked the spiritual part that the Tibetan monastery had." (Hmm, the prison has possibilities. Especially for catching up on Orange is the New Black or revisiting Oz.)
"The grantee will be able to watch whatever," Mencák says. Maybe the monks would enjoy catching up on Monk, now that it's been off the USA Network for a while. For me, nothing could beat watching all nine seasons of Family Matters over and over for 100 days straight.
Advice for the winner: Stock up on binge-worthy snacks ahead of time. Otherwise, if you run out of chips, dip and cocktail wieners, you'll have to trek 11,800 feet down a mountain to the bodega and back up again.
Clients: Henrik Lethagen, Marketing Manager CE; Pernilla Viberg Category Marketing Manager CE
Agency: DDB Stockholm
Creative: Daniel Mencák
Business Director: Jessica Morales
Account Director: Rebecca Jerndahl Tepavac
Account Managers: Ulrica Carlsson, Ulrika Sörensen
Planner: Patrick Wilkorsz
Digital Designer: Erik Sigblad
Digital Designer: Martin Ruben
Digital Director: Andreas Fabbe
Digital Account Director: Katarina Mohlin
Graphic Designers: Tor Westerlund, Sebastian Reinbring, Steven McDonald
Digital Production Company: Acne Production
Production Company: Mastiff
Director: Brennan Stasievicz
Executive Producer: Kristian Beer
Producer: Mats Olsson
Photographer: Adam Uhl
PR Agency: Wenderfalck