Don’t adjust your set: Bold Samsung ad will make you think your TV is busted

Televisions rarely conk out these days, but an upcoming prank ad from Samsung is set to have millions of Brits wondering if they should fire up their smartphone and Google: “How to fix a knackered TV.”

The bold ad campaign will launch in the U.K. this weekend as part of the tech company’s efforts to highlight its new line of QLED TVs and its incorporated Ambient Mode, which helps the display blend into its surroundings.

The 20-second ad will begin with a few seconds of simulated “static and interference” before the display suddenly goes black. And then … nothing.

As irate viewers begin hurling a range of colorful insults at their “faulty” television, the blackout will end after six seconds with an on-screen message that reads: “This is your TV screen … most of the time a void full of nothing.”

It’ll then explain the virtues of Samsung QLED technology and how its Ambient Mode is able to cleverly replicate the background, or, alternatively, show a slideshow of your favorite photos, play music, or display information such as news headlines and weather forecasts.

Samsung is highlighting the campaign with the hashtag #TVblackout and has sent some poor fella onto the streets of London with a TV on his head and a sign that reads, “No more blank screens.”

Samsung appears to be playing a high-stakes game with its unusual ad, especially as it will be shown during a break in the UEFA Champions League Final between Liverpool and Real Madrid on Saturday evening, May 26. As any sports fan knows, sudden disruption of a live broadcast during a big game is enough to make your heart miss a beat — even during a commercial break.

“The large black rectangles which have come to dominate our homes over the past 50 years will soon be a thing of the past as televisions adapt to complement and reflect our modern living environment,” Samsung’s Robert King said in some press bumph. “Our QLED Ambient technology marks the end of an era and we are about to witness a dramatic change in the way we install, watch, and enjoy television.”

The company said that its own research discovered that 60 percent of British adults believe that blank TV screens can often “dominate a room or stand out too much.” The findings also pointed to the idea that these days “we care more about concealing technology within the design of a room.”

Samsung appears to be spending big on its #TVblackout campaign, supporting it with lots of multi-channel content such as teaser digital ads, movie theater screenings, and a spot on the country’s most famous digital ad board in Piccadilly Circus in central London.

The company is gaining something of a reputation for offbeat TV ads. In 2017, it showed one of a washer doing its thing for a full 200 seconds. Samsung described the ad as “a soulful ballet of technology in motion,” though to most people it was a washer washing some clothes.


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