TV Commercial: ‘Level Up’ Featuring Travis Scott, Ninja

For: Samsung Galaxy Note9, Epic Games Fortnite


Wow, it’s, like, so cool and hip. Sarcasm notwithstanding, that’s a big part of this ad. Even as obvious as the connection is with celebrity status, it works on multiple levels. First, there’s the fact this ad serves two masters. While the Samsung Galaxy Note9 dominates the ad visually, the shout-out to Epic Games Fortnite is central to the spot and impossible to miss by anyone who’s familiar with the gaming company brand and event. And it’s all connected by a relevant theme and truly lifelong desire for most to “Level Up.” What else can we say about this ad?….


Evaluating Distribution Channels

What makes this commercial intriguing to us is not so much the ad itself as to where it’s deployed. In addition to some online digital advertising, this is being deployed as a TV ad spot in a significant way. Now, obviously teenagers and young adults who are into gaming also watch TV, and certainly there are spots where you can find this demographic. But presumably, another big part of the approach here is to put this TV ad in front of the family when both teenagers and parents are in the same room, giving the opportunity for the teenager to make their own pitch. Putting viral online gaming celebrities on TV also helps legitimize the coolness factor for parents. In other words, even if they’re never going to understand the concept of “online gaming celebrities,” it gets harder for parents to dismiss the concern that their kid won’t have the cool kid stuff if they know other parents are seeing the same ads.


Incredible Velocity of Change in Advertising

Also, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that just how complete the transformation in which gaming apps and platforms have become to marketing and selling phones. What phone you buy seemingly determine which circle of friends you run with, not merely because of the status conveyed by the brand but by the digital interconnectivity that’s created by being on the same smartphone platform.