Love blooms between rival onion cafes in Samsung’s quirky smartphone campaign

The campaign is Mother London's first work for the brand.

Samsung tells an unusual love story inspired by onions, in a campaign to rekindle people’s creativity with smartphone photography. 

“Inspired by a true photo” is Mother London’s debut work for Samsung after winning the brief for its UK mobile business earlier this year. Launching along with Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 FE phone, the concept of the campaign is to take real-life consumer photos and turn them into unexpected creations. 

The first ad, called “Onions”, is based on a real photo of a sack of onions taken on a Samsung smartphone. The image serves as inspiration for a tale about a young man who works at Rick’s Onion Cafe and falls for a girl waitressing across the road at a more upscale restaurant called “L’Oignon” (French for onion).

While sweeping peels off the floor, taking orders and chopping onions with protective goggles, the two gaze longingly at each other from their rival establishments, before finally meeting over sacks of the vegetable.

The film was directed by Sam Hibbard through Somesuch, while Starcom handled media planning and buying. A 90-second version will premiere on Sunday evening (4 October) on Channel 4. 

As part of the campaign, Samsung is encouraging customers to upload their own photos with the hashtag #WithGalaxy, for a chance to have their image chosen and inspire unusual creations in arts and culture. 

Alex Conaway, head of brand for mobile, tablets and wearables at Samsung Electronics UK, said: “Our smartphones have evolved the way we use photography in more ways than we could have imagined. We don’t just take a good picture, but we use it to communicate with our friends and family, with the photos becoming the tool of conversation. This platform has shown us that a single shot can inspire incredible creativity – a music track, a comedy sketch, even a homewares collection – all stemming from one image.

“While the rest of the industry is obsessed with the photo being the end point, for us that’s where the story starts – our creative leap is to pick up where other brands left off and continue that conversation. Sam’s beautiful and unique TVC is just the beginning of this story, and we’re excited to see what our #withGalaxy images can inspire next.”