Smartphones as a category is growing at a phenomenal pace. The Rs 5,000-15,000 category is exploding and the trend seems to continue in 2015, with India set to emerge as the world’s second biggest market in 2016. eMarketer states that India will exceed 200 million smartphone users, topping the US as the world’s second largest smartphone market by 2016.
The market is so competitive that by the time you buy a new smartphone, either the brand has launched a better model at a lesser price or a competitor has done it. In such a market condition smartphone brands have no choice but to pump money in marketing to get the much needed eyeballs in the ocean of similar products.
The other challenge is that the target audience for these companies is the youth which isn’t ready to trust a TVC but will get sold for a good story.
Gionee, the Chinese mobile phone manufacturer recently launched a new campaign to promote its newly launched smartphone Elife S7. The Rs. 20,000 plus smartphone comes with 5.50-inch 1080×1920 display powered by 2.2GHz processor alongside 2GB RAM and 16-megapixel rear camera. With a good battery life, the phone has shipped a fantastic camera to catch the attention of the selfie generation.
Titled #FasterThanMyDadsPhone, the campaign created by And And Brand Partner reflects that while the previous generation has remained confused about their choices, the young have experimented, explored and shifted to perfection. The campaign seeks to reflect how the younger brand has caught the eye of the youth and the older brands are ageing.
The brand has launched a series of 15 second TVCs evoking the same feeling. For instance the below TVC shows how a dad is boasting about his smartphone supporting 3G, at which his son laughs and informs him that the world has now moved on to 4G. While the statement is true, there is enough evidence that even 3G roll out is questionable in metros itself.
Parking that debate aside, there are few more videos that highlight how outdated is your dad’s phone compared to the new Gionee Elife S7.
The TVCs have found air time during the ongoing IPL 8. The brand plans to extend the core thought across digital, retail and outdoor. While we are not sure about retail and outdoor, the brand is yet to open up a focused campaign on social media. Other than visual updates that promote the features, the brand hasn’t done enough to tell why anyone should buy a Rs. 20K phone.
— Gionee India (@GioneeIndia) May 11, 2015
— Gionee India (@GioneeIndia) May 14, 2015
This is the case with a majority of smartphone brands, with every launch they push a TVC and create either buzz with visual updates or a Twitter contest to get trended on Twitter. Unfortunately these trends are dominated by contest players who change loyalty with the brand giveaway. But the question smartphone brand need to ask is – by doing this are we really getting the attention of the youth?
Youth is sold to stories, not ads
Most smartphone companies burn enough money on digital and search advertising but at the same time fail to weave a story along with product promotions on digital.
May be it can take some tips from its competitor Lenovo which recently took the route of storytelling to connect with millennials for its latest smartphone A7000. On digital the brand launched a portal Mission A7000 that told the story of a geek who was locked in Istanbul after his lady love ditches him for a bag full of cash. The only hope for Louis is an electronic gadget which has the ability to hack the PA system which is powered by a 64- bit Octa Core processor. The comic strip trailer that felt like an animation movie, convinced people to book a special screening earlier this month. Only to be later told that the movie produced by Lenovo Pictures isn’t about a Hollywood movie but about its latest smartphone A7000.
— Lenovo India (@Lenovo_in) April 4, 2015
Earlier during the launch of A6000 Lenovo roped in Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor to interact with fans on six different social networks for a day. The campaign was tied around original visual content backed with co-creation. Besides the campaign proved that a brand can have an impact on multiple social networks only if it uses the uniqueness of a social network by creating original content.
A recent study revealed that 84 percent of millennials don’t like traditional advertising nor do they trust it. This generation dislikes advertising and not brands said Maker Studios’ chief content officer Erin McPherson recently.
Today to reach out to millennials brands need to tell a good story. At least a Rs. 20K plus smartphone definitely can do. A good idea for Gionee now would be to initiate a crowdsourced campaign on Instagram that would promote its strong camera features. Eventually it can compile the best work into a calendar like it has done for professional photographers and gratify the winners.