Samsung Is Sending One Person to a Tibetan Monastery for 100 Days to Watch TV in Peace

Wild promotion for the SUHD TV

Hey, monks, keep that chanting down, I'm trying to watch Empire!

As if binge-watching your favorite TV show weren't enough of a religious experience, Samsung is taking it to new heights with a promotion called "The Catch-up Grant." Devised by DDB Stockholm, it will send one lucky winner to Thiksey, a Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas, more than two miles above ground, where he or she will get to watch TV for 100 days on Samsung's new SUHD with a 65-inch curved screen. (There's also a stipend, and the residency begins in November.)

"We thought it'd be fun if you would get paid for watching TV, just like a job, for a full year," DDB creative director Daniel Mencák tells AdFreak. "But we realized people would just do other stuff, so then we decided it would have to be at a place where you would do nothing else. And where the worldly distractions would be far, far away."

The competition is open only to folks from Nordic nations, and it runs through Oct. 4. Eight finalists will be chosen based on video submissions about how much trouble they're having keeping up with all the great TV out there. The final round in Stockholm will include lie-detector tests to determine if applicants really have been missing their favorite shows.

There will also be eye exams—for corrective lenses, if necessary—to ensure the winner can enjoy the Samsung SUHD's picture quality in all its 4K glory. But mostly participants will answer questions and a client-agency jury will make the final selection. Naturally, DDB will document the proceedings, including the mountaintop stay, so the whole world can binge-watch the binge-watching at their leisure.

Why a monastery? Mencák says other lonely locations were considered—Siberia, a lighthouse, even a maximum security prison—but "all of them lacked the spiritual part that the Tibetan monastery had." (Hmm, the prison has possibilities. Especially for catching up on Orange is the New Black or revisiting Oz.)

"The grantee will be able to watch whatever," Mencák says. Maybe the monks would enjoy catching up on Monk, now that it's been off the USA Network for a while. For me, nothing could beat watching all nine seasons of Family Matters over and over for 100 days straight.

Advice for the winner: Stock up on binge-worthy snacks ahead of time. Otherwise, if you run out of chips, dip and cocktail wieners, you'll have to trek 11,800 feet down a mountain to the bodega and back up again.


Brand: Samsung

Clients: Henrik Lethagen, Marketing Manager CE; Pernilla Viberg Category Marketing Manager CE

Agency: DDB Stockholm

Creative: Daniel Mencák

Business Director: Jessica Morales

Account Director: Rebecca Jerndahl Tepavac

Account Managers: Ulrica Carlsson, Ulrika Sörensen

Planner: Patrick Wilkorsz

Digital Designer: Erik Sigblad

Digital Designer: Martin Ruben

Digital Director: Andreas Fabbe

Digital Account Director: Katarina Mohlin

Graphic Designers: Tor Westerlund, Sebastian Reinbring, Steven McDonald

Digital Production Company: Acne Production

Production Company: Mastiff

Director: Brennan Stasievicz

Executive Producer: Kristian Beer

Producer: Mats Olsson

Photographer: Adam Uhl

PR Agency: Wenderfalck 

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: September 30, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT