More brands are starting to leverage characters to actively engage with their audience in the branding and advertisement scene. Characters can help luxury brands transform their image into a youthful and lively brand, or even support a company’s business expansion through a character’s strong fanbase. Sammy from SmartThings is a great example of a friendly and approachable brand character. This is the behind-the-scenes story of Sammy, who helps users have a more enjoyable experience when using the SmartThings app.
Introducing Sammy, your friendly partner to a smarter life.
Sammy* was first introduced to the world as an illustration that provides a fun and useful guide to users as they first navigate through the SmartThings service. Afterward, Sammy’s role branched out beyond the SmartThings app to becoming an emoticon for the Galaxy phone’s messaging service or a decorative sticker for the calendar app. Sammy has been adored by users ever since. Sammy’s popularity gave way for him to establish a character identity and universe. He became a multi-faceted character with an in-depth back story, allowing him to play different roles for a wide range of Samsung’s services.
* When Sammy was first introduced, he was known as ‘Seungtae’. However, Seungtae is actually Sammy’s SmartThings alter-ego.
“Sammy is an ordinary guy in his 20’s who cannot wait to have financial freedom. However, he hasn’t been too successful with job-hunting, and recently has been wallowing in sorrow. One day Sammy visits the Samsung Recruitment Office and meets an alien with supernatural abilities called ‘Bangs’. With Bangs’ help, Sammy is able to transform into various ‘alter-egos’ and play active roles in various Samsung services…”
Sammy’s character design has also been systematically and meticulously refined. His body proportions are carefully adjusted, and the size and shape of his hands are purposefully designed to instill a sense of eagerness in the character. Then, the constant details of his appearances, like his basic figure, face, and hands, were set to establish the basic form of his design. The fundamental form of Sammy’s character is a combination of lines and planes. This design has been systemized to be easily expandable into various styles depending on the details put in with lines, hair styles, and clothing. The basic form allows the expression of a character only created using lines or planes and can be flexibly applied with a monotone or colorful palette depending on the purpose of Sammy’s role in a specific service.