Although I am chronically - no, fatally -prone to exaggeration, it is but a mere statement of fact to say that the fervour with which one supports a football team is approximately as consuming as the devout eagerness with which one nurses a crystal meth addiction.
It makes perfect sense, then, that Samsung has launched a multi-platform marketing campaign that attempts to capitalise on the world’s manic thirst for football-based fantasies, heralded by the hashtag #WinnerTakesEarth.
On the surface, Galaxy 11 will allow users of Samsung devices to follow the journeys of 11 world class football players as they train for the most important match of their life.
What throws a slight spanner in the well-oiled wheels of sense, however, is that the fate of mankind lies in the balance of the outcome of this match. Yes, the 11 chosen players will be training to save the Earth from alien domination.
But let’s throw caution to the solar wind and accept that Samsung has invented an away team that have travelled a few thousand light years further away than normal to partake in a good old fashioned kickabout. How can fans get involved?
The story of the Galaxy 11 team will be revealed in a series of chapters over the coming months, being brought to life across Samsung’s Galaxy devices, online platforms and social media channels. With international football legend Franz Beckenbauer manning the helm as manager, fans can follow the recruitment and training of the team as they prepare for the “winner takes all” match on a virtual football pitch.
Samsung has even promised that as time progresses, Samsung users around the world will have the opportunity to “actively participate” in the immersive campaign, though what that means is as yet unclear.
However, the announcement itself offers some much-needed clarity on a fortnight of rumour and intrigue after “Mysterious Circles” and the #WinnerTakesEarth hashtag started appearing on iconic locations around the world, including Sugarload Mountain in Rio De Janeiro, Times Square in New York and football pitches at Hackney Marshes in London.
Curiosity reached fever pitch after mysterious robed figures, emblazoned with biohazard symbols, appeared in the stands at recent home matches for Chelsea FC, Bayern Munich and Juventus FC.
“Football is one of the most popular sports in the world and Samsung admires the power of football as a unifying force to rally and connect a global community of passionate fans,” enthused Younghee Lee, executive vice president of global marketing at Samsung Electronics. “Through this one-of-a-kind campaign, Samsung wants to combine fans’ universal love for football and Galaxy devices.”
The next few weeks will see Samsung pull the cloak on each of the 11 players which will eventually make up the Galaxy 11 team charged with saving humanity from the footie mad extra-terrestrials.