Samsung To Stage Nationwide #TVBlackout

on May 24, 2018
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World-first for a TV commercial as viewers left staring into a void this weekend to highlight new tech leap with QLED

  • New TV ads for Samsung will ‘turn off’ more than eight million of nation’s televisions this weekend leaving a completely blank screen
  • The disruptive spot is a world-first, featuring absolutely nothing, to highlight a new era for TV as ugly black screens are banished to history
  • Cinema screens and Piccadilly Circus also set to ‘go blank’ as #TVblackout creative supported with huge marketing campaign which is now  set to roll out across Europe
  • Campaign has been designed to showcase a revolution in television design and functionality via the new Ambient Mode[1] capabilities of Samsung QLED TV’s which enable TV’s to blend into the home environment


Millions of TV sets across the UK will appear to turn themselves off this weekend as part of a world-first marketing campaign for electronics giant Samsung which aims to showcase the evolution of television and its role within our homes.


The disruptive campaign launches on Friday 25th May with a 20-second advert which has been designed to trick viewers into thinking their devices have been turned off leaving nothing but a blank screen.


The multi-channel, multi-network takeover will witness televisions appearing to be ‘switched off’ during the ad breaks of some of Britain’s most popular shows including Coronation Street (ITV), The Simpsons (Sky) and First Dates (C4).


Screens will buzz with static and interference before going blank and entirely silent, leaving viewers staring into the void – or searching for their remote controls – for six long seconds. The darkness ends with text emerging, which reads: “This is your TV screen … most of the time; a void full of nothing.” It then explains the virtues of Samsung QLED technology which has an ‘Ambient Mode’ meaning viewers need never see a blank screen again.


The campaign which will roll out in the UK over 10 days starting on Friday will initially feature 221 TV spots across 18 channels  reaching an estimated 49 Million  viewers.  The commercials mark the first time UK screens have gone entirely ‘blank’ during an ad break and signposts a revolution in TV design from Samsung that enables TV sets to either blend in with the décor of the home, or display imagery when not in use, effectively banishing ugly black screens which dominate our living rooms to the annals of history.



Viewers will be teased into the audacious campaign across the weekend; starting on Friday evening and building up to an extended 30 second commercial the following day where Samsung will raise the stakes further by ‘going blank’ for eight long seconds of a 30 second spot.


The second ad will air at key times on Saturday evening and is set to disrupt the Champions League final commercial break where the audience will be told it is “time to adjust your set”.


Robert King, Vice President – Consumer Electronics, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, said: “The large black rectangles which have come to dominate our homes over the past 50 years will soon be a thing of the past as televisions adapt to complement and reflect our modern living environment. Our QLED Ambient technology marks the end of an era and we are about to witness a dramatic change in the way we install, watch and enjoy television.”


Rebecca Hirst, Marketing Director, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland commented: “This unique and disruptive marketing campaign has been designed to underscore our messaging in the most dramatic way possible, switching sets off to remind the public that their TV is simply a boring black screen for 90% of the time”.


The campaign follows research by Samsung* which found that the majority of British adults (60%) believe that large black TV screens can overly dominate a room or stand out too much. Of the same group studied, a similar number (61%) agreed that modern tastes in interior design are less ‘showy’ than previous decades suggesting we care more about concealing technology within the design of a room than in previous years.


The #TVblackout campaign is being supported with a range of multi-channel content including teaser digital ads, cinema screenings and a full screen take-over of Britain’s largest screen at the unmistakable advertising hub of Piccadilly Circus in central London.



The campaign is also set to disrupt cinema screenings throughout the UK from Friday when the famous Pearl and Dean theme tune will be interrupted during screenings of ‘Solo’ as screens appear to switch off.


London based tactical executions will include groups of ‘TV people’ with  blank screens for faces  picketing  high streets and electronic shops with ‘This is the End’ – style billboards to promote the #TVblackout hashtag.


[1] Samsung QLED ‘Ambient Mode’ background setting feature may vary depending on the environment where the TV is installed including, but not limited to, wall designs, patterns, and/or colours

Press Resources > Press Release

Corporate > Technology

Products > TVs & Displays


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