R/GA Expands Its Relationship with Samsung to Include Broadcast TV Work

By Patrick Coffee 

R/GA has moved further into “traditional” agency turf by way of multinational tech conglomerate Samsung.

Several parties tell us that R/GA significantly expanded its global remit for the Korea-based company starting in late 2016. Earlier this week, the client’s North American CMO Marc Mathieu also confirmed to Adweek that R/GA would be working on its “most ambitious marketing campaign yet” to promote the new Galaxy S8 phone along with Wieden + Kennedy and design agency Turner Duckworth. (And then there was the Leo Burnett ostrich spot promoting Gear VR. Lots of moving parts here.)

The R/GA ads in question are not “live” yet, but they’re broadcast. And they play on nature themes.


Back in January, we posted on the client moving its global social media business to Bob Greenberg’s agency and away from Big Spaceship, which closed its Seoul office in December after losing AOR status. R/GA has been working with Samsung since it won a digital AOR review in 2013; the business had previously been with Razorfish for less than a year.

According to our sources, R/GA added broadcast TV to its expanding list of Samsung responsibilities for the first time beyond the digital and social media work. In addition to the Galaxy S8, R/GA will also handle future campaigns promoting the client’s kitchen appliances division.

These wins happened around the same time as the social media transition, but it’s not clear whether there was a formal review because no one has spoken to us on the record.

An R/GA spokesperson deferred to the client for comment. Samsung PR has not responded to multiple emails and phone calls made over the past several weeks.

This is somewhat understandable given that the company has larger things on its mind including the launch of the new phone and the arrest of vice chairman and de facto CEO Jay Y. Lee, who is accused of colluding with now-former Korean president Park Geun-hye in a bribery scandal that led to her impeachment and removal from office. Earlier today, officials placed her under arrest on corruption charges.

Samsung also hopes that the Galaxy S8 will help eliminate all memory of the exploding phones that ultimately led to $3 billion or more in losses last year by the company’s own estimate.

In short, expect to see a lot more R/GA Samsung work to come.