Samsung’s Grand Theft Auto exploding phone mod

Last week, an exploding replacement Note7 phone helped put Samsung on the naughty step. At the time, we noted the lack of preemptive content marketing on the issue, despite the fact that the above-mentioned had obliged planes to make forced landings and led people to take the devices out of their pockets.

As the final point of the post made clear, if you don’t tell your own story other people will quickly start doing it for you.

Naysayers will insist that they can tell it for you anyway. But get there first and you can lessen the blows and divert attention. That’s how content marketing works and that’s why companies use it.

Samsung swings into action

Unfortunately, Samsung failed to heed this advice and it looks like it has been forced into retrospective action.

The BBC has a great story about a mod that’s been created in the video game Grand Theft Auto – featuring an exploding Samsung phone.

For those who are not gamers, a mod is simply a plug-in that integrates with an existing game’s programming interface.

In this case, the mod replaced sticky bombs used in the game with Samsung-branded phones. It allows players to blow up cars, people and other objects using the Korean-manufacturer’s product.

Blocked YouTube accounts

Obviously you are going to put something like this on YouTube because everyone wants to see a truck destroyed by a phone. That is everyone apart from Samsung.

People posting GTA clips featuring the exploding phone have had restrictions put on their accounts as potential violations of copyright. Players have also had their live streaming capability removed.

It is an interesting and risky move by Samsung. Once word gets out –and it already has – there is nothing to stop people creating new accounts and posting the video all over the place.

The joy of user-generated content

On the other hand, it is impossible not to look at this and say ‘wow’. What a great idea. If you want to get gamers, create a decent mod with branding in it and piggyback on a successful game. Like GTA.

Samsung’s Grand Theft Auto exploding phone mod is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.