Case study: Samsung's day of thrills

British theme saw the firm's laptop arm enjoy fast cars and helicopters.

THE BRIEF: Samsung's IT division is rapidly growing and has set a target of being the number one supplier of notebook PCs by the end of next year. The division wanted to run an incentive for its distribution channel to boost sales of Samsung laptops, particularly its new mid-range products.

The brand runs an ongoing incentive scheme, Jet Set, through agency Pickled Egg, which has seen top sales performers taken to exotic destinations such as Dubai and Monaco. To make this year's incentive different, Pickled Egg sales director Ricky Knight, suggested a UK incentive themed Quintessentially British. "Our client at Samsung agreed it would be good to use the budget he had available for an overseas trip to do something really special in the UK," says Knight. The three-month qualifying period started in March, and sales staff from the various distribution channels won a place on the trip based on the percentage they achieved over their personal target.

CHALLENGES: As part of the trip, the agency was looking to hire a fleet of 'super cars' for delegates to drive. "The first challenge we had was finding a reputable company from which to hire the cars," says Knight. "I met with some companies that did not meet the standards we required, for example, they would charge £1,000 for damage from stone clippings,"

Other potential challenges included weather, as the event included helicopter flights. The budget for pre-event marketing was also cut, requiring a slight change of plan and creativity on Pickled Egg's part to create the necessary level of excitement and motivation in the build-up to the trip.

SOLUTION: After an extensive search and meetings with a number of car-hire firms, Knight and his team chose Oxford-based Dream Car Hire. "Everything was above board, and stone-clippings, for example, were covered on the insurance," says Knight.

He adds that Samsung was also lucky with the weather. "It was sunny, but we had coaches on standby just in case the helicopters couldn't fly."

For the pre-event marketing, Pickled Egg used viral marketing devices to build excitement. This included uploading a video clip on Youtube and emailing the link to staff, teaser posters, and Samsung managers leaking the odd detail about the event from time to time.

EXECUTION: A group of 20 guests, including several Samsung managers, made their way down to the south coast to check into the Master Builders Hotel, located on the banks of the Beaulieu River in the New Forest. A welcome dinner had been arranged in the Yachtsman's Bar. After breakfast the following morning, the group were surprised by the arrival of ten sports cars, which they drove to Goodwood Racecourse for a day at the races. Each person was given £50 to place bets, with advice coming from a professional tipster.

Helicopters arrived to transfer the group to Bournemouth for an evening out, including dinner at Cuccinis Italian restaurant, and a VIP suite at Elements nightclub.

After breakfast on the Sunday morning, the group boarded RIBs for a sailing adventure before a final lunch together.

VERDICT: Knight admits there was a bit of concern about how the group would react to not going overseas, as the Jet Set programme normally involves trips to exotic places. "The feedback we had from people is that they liked the fact it was the UK and that they didn't have to fly anywhere," he says. "The cars went down a storm and everyone loved driving them."

Samsung IT general manager Phil Brown adds: "It was a tremendous day, superbly organised and as thrilling as any of our trips abroad with Pickled Egg."

FACTFILE
Client: Samsung IT
Event: Incentive
Agency: Pickled Egg
Group size: 20
Date: Friday 30 May - Sunday 1 June 2008
Venue: The Master Builders Hotel, Goodwood Racecourse, Cuccinis,
Bournemouth
Budget: Undisclosed

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