Samsung Sets Web Hunt for Gold Medals

Promotes Games With 'Medal Mania' Effort From Digitas

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NEW YORK ( -- Samsung Mobile is promoting the Olympic Games with a virtual game.

The marketer is hoping 100,000 people in the U.S. will sign up to play Medal Mania, an online scavenger hunt for gold medals hidden throughout the web before and during the Olympics.
Samsung's Olympics spot
Samsung's Olympics spot

Starting July 24, Samsung will text or e-mail daily clues leading players to sites such as where medals can be uncovered by, for instance, peeling back the corner of a Samsung banner ad. As players collect medals, they're eligible for more than 200,000 prizes, from ringtones to Samsung phones and home-theater systems, said Paul Golden, VP-strategic marketing at Samsung Mobile.

Players can also win medals by referring friends and pick up bonus medals whenever a U.S. athlete captures a real medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing, where Samsung is a global sponsor. Each medal is also an entry in a post-Olympics drawing for a $100,000 cash prize.

On July 28, Samsung will break a commercial for the U.S. market based on the global theme "The Olympics and You," developed at its global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. The ad features quick cuts of ardent athletes pursuing different sports, with their Samsung phones never far away. The spot ends with a crowd gathering in a square against Beijing's cityscape.

"The theme is passion and dedication, a similar feeling to the way we design phones," Mr. Golden said.

Medal Mania, which is being promoted entirely online, was developed with Publicis Groupe's Digitas, and Leo Burnett, Chicago, did the TV ad.

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How could this be? TBWA, Shanghai, created an Adidas push celebrating Chinese athletes (top), while TBWA, Paris, crafted an Amnesty International ad showing the torture of Chinese athletes by local authorities.

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