Make It Yours: Samsung Oscars Campaign on “Do What You Can’t”


Samsung - Make It Yours - Academy Awards 2018 campaign - Issa Rae

Samsung brought its “Do What You Can’t” brand platform to the 90th Academy Awards telecast with “Make It Yours,” celebrating creators and the power of the Galaxy S9 smartphone to unlock creativity: “Get inspired. Grab your Galaxy. Make something.”

The Galaxy S9, which was unveiled at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, also captured slo-mo moments from the Oscars red carpet, such as the cast of Mudbound, for the Academy’s Facebook page.

For Creators, By Creators

Rachel Morrison and Dee Rees

The “Make It Yours” ad was directed by Dee Rees (also featured in Walmart’s “The Box” Oscars short film series) who teamed up with her director of photography from Mudbound, Rachel Morrison, both of whom made history with their 2018 Oscars nominations: Rees for being the first gay black woman nominated as best director; Morrison made history twice this year, by becoming not only the first woman, but the first out woman, to be nominated for Best Cinematography.

Samsung - Make It Yours - 2018 Oscars ad promoted tweetThe 60-second spot, also a promoted tweet during the Oscars telecast, opens with two women unsure what to create with their Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus phones, which are designed for social media creation such as aperture-changing rear cameras and AR Emoji.

The Inspiration

A handful of celebrities, YouTube creators and influencers answer the question with inspiration from their own creative work. Actress and director Issa Rae, for instance, says, “Make something awkward” in reference to her YouTube turned TV series The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl, the inspiration for her HBO series Insecure.

Constance Wu, star of the upcoming Crazy Rich Asians film and Fresh Off the Boat, advises them to “make a new way in,” as she opens a door. Director Taika Watiti advises the women to “Make something big,” referencing his work at the helm of Marvel’s wildly successful Thor: Ragnarok. The other creators celebrated in “Make It Yours” include:

U.S. Winter Olympics Gold medalist Chloe Kim — “It pays to dream big. Just ask Chloe Kim and family, who turned their Olympic Dream into a reality.”

America’s first openly gay Olympic freestyle skier, Gus Kenworthy, who “is no stranger to the spotlight. He was born to make a difference.”

Artist, YouTube creator and Casey Neistat protegee Shantell Martin — “Make something you can share, like Shantell Martin.”

American professional BMX athlete and YouTube creator Nigel Sylvester – “Make mistakes until you don’t, like Nigel Sylvester.”

Molly Burke, YouTuber and #accessibility champion and motivational speaker about being blind — “Make them see something beautiful, like Molly Burke does.”

Beauty vlogger, Today Show correspondent and YouTube creator Deepica Mutyala — “Make something undeniably you, like Deepica Mutyala.”

Independent filmmaker Ann Lupo — “Make something quiet, like Ann Lupo” — who made her own short film about the experience called “My 2.3 Seconds of Fame”:

Online sketch comedian and YouTube creator Akilah Hughes – “Make it anything, like Akilah Hughes”:

A closer look at the Galaxy S9 and the “Do What You Can’t” campaign: