Samsung switching off millions of TVs at weekend #TVblackout

Millions of UK televisions will appear to turn themselves off this weekend as part of a world-first marketing campaign for electronics giant Samsung.

The disruptive campaign launches on Friday 25th May with a 20-second advert which has been designed to trick viewers into thinking their devices have been turned off leaving nothing but a blank screen.

Viewers will witness TVs appearing to be switched off during the ad breaks of some of Britain’s most popular shows. You will be able to experience this yourself during Coronation Street (ITV), The Simpsons (Sky) and First Dates (C4).

Samsung OLED TVblackoutScreens will buzz with static and interference before going blank and entirely silent. So, you will be pretty much left staring into the void whilst others will no doubt be searching for their remote controls. Don’t worry, this emptiness will only last 5-seconds.

The darkness ends with the text:

This is your TV screen … most of the time; a void full of nothing.”

It then explains the virtues of Samsung QLED technology which has an ‘ambient’ mode meaning viewers need never see a blank screen again.

Huge campaign

The campaign rolls out in the UK over 10 days starting on Friday will initially feature 221 TV spots across 18 channels reaching an estimated 49 Million viewers.

As you can imagine, this will be the first time an advertiser has paid to leave your UK screens ‘blank’ during an ad break. Naturally, Samsung wants to let you know about how their new telly can either blend in with your home décor, or display imagery when not in use. Moreover, banishing black screens that dominate our living rooms to the annals of history. I am assuming that power consumption will be minimal in this new mode.

The second ad will air at key times on Saturday evening and is set to disrupt the Champions League final commercial break where the audience will be told it is “time to adjust your set”.


Robert King, Vice President – Consumer Electronics, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, said:

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. 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.”

Rebecca Hirst, Marketing Director, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland commented:

This unique and disruptive marketing campaign has been designed to underscore our messaging in the most dramatic way possible, switching sets off to remind the public that their TV is simply a boring black screen for 90% of the time”.

Piccadilly Circus to Pearl and Dean

Samsung OLED TVblackoutThe #TVblackout campaign is being supported with a range of multi-channel content including teaser digital ads, cinema screenings and a full screen take-over of Britain’s largest screen at the unmistakable advertising hub of Piccadilly Circus in central London.

The campaign is also set to disrupt cinema screenings throughout the UK from Friday when the famous Pearl and Dean theme tune will be interrupted during screenings of the new Star Wars film ‘Solo’ as screens appear to switch off.

London based tactical executions will include groups of ‘TV people’ with blank screens for faces picketing electronic shops with ‘This is the End’ – style billboards to promote the #TVblackout hashtag in the run up to the first ads being screened.

You have been warned.