Indigenous phone manufacturer, Micromax, has never been one to shy away from the big challenge. It shocked the world in 2013 when it got Hollywood superstar Hugh Jackman to promote its line of products and its newly launched campaign, the first since it announced a major rebranding, including a new logo and tagline, last week, is no less audacious.
The campaign was officially announced with two new TVCs which will be running across TV networks, with a particular emphasis during IPL broadcasts. Though Micromax would not reveal actual budget allocated for the rebranding and the new TV campaign, Shubhajit Sen, CMO of Micromax Informatics said, “If you see, over the years, 1.5-2.5 per cent of our sales go into marketing. Obviously, with the launch and new campaign, for short term we will go beyond 2.5 per cent but over the year our overall spends will be back in the same bracket. We think this makes good business sense.”
The new campaign revolves around Micromax’s new brand philosophy - 'Nuts: Guts: Glory' and will be used to drive home the various changes happening within the company as it looks to reorganize itself to achieve ambitious growth objectives in India and abroad.
You can watch the video here:
“Micromax is at a very interesting juncture in our corporate journey. Over the next 2-3 years, the company is looking to completely transform as an organization. So, while all this is happening, we needed to signal this change to our consumers. Therefore, we are transforming our brand logo, our brand design language as well as a new philosophy articulated through a new campaign,” added Sen.
This ‘Micromax 3.0’ approach by the company will include a focus on becoming the fastest growing smartphone maker in India, transform the company from a pureplay hardware manufacturer to an integrated device player, consolidate position in the consumer electronics space, expand internationally with a goal of becoming a Top 5 smartphone player and achieve 100 per cent production of all products in India by 2018.
Apart from these internal goals, Creativeland Asia, which is the new creative agency given the responsibility of leading the rebranding campaign, was also asked to transform Micromax’s traditionally held position as a challenger to a leader in its category, while ensuring that the new campaign was different from the more feature-focused campaigns of rival brands.
“We looked at Micromax as a brand and some of the research showed us that it is a brand that people buy but not necessarily something that they flaunt. It is a phone that stays in the pocket, not a phone that comes on the table. So, the entire campaign was planned with the thought of how do we get the phone from the pocket to the table,” explained Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder and Creative Chairman of Creativeland Asia.
He cites the example of Apple, which generates strong brand affinity. “People will buy anything that Apple sells because of this. Other phones have better features but an Apple consumer will only buy Apple products. If there is a certain amount of affinity towards a brand, it does help. Apple had a story to tell---the Steve Jobs story. Similarly, we felt that Micromax’s founders also have a story that people do not know about, so how do we tell that story to people. Which is why we created this whole “nuts, guts, glory” campaign. It is not a tagline but a philosophy. It is in the DNA of Micromax,” said Kurup.
Creativeland Asia took the journey of the company from a little known company to a global player as the inspiration. Another task before the agency was to not dilute the existing image of the brand, while still creating a new and globally appealing brand identity.
“We were entering the global scene and we wanted the phone to sell in different parts of the world. It was a sensitive task. The “fist” is something that we felt should not be done away with. Could we make the fist holding the phone, which shows democratization of the telecom market, into just a fist, which shows certain amount of attitude? So we took this thought and evolved the logo into a new Micromax design and identity. We simplified it, made it more international and created a sort of modular logo that can be used as just the fist,” informed Kurup.
The new TVCs, which involved a diverse range of talent including well-known director Mikon van Gastel, Dan Mindel as Director Of Photography (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), costume designers who had worked on Blood Diamond, etc., to unveil not just the logo but as a statement of intent, says Kurup.
“We captured the Micromax story from where they were to the current days. That is the subtext of the film. It is also in a way a story of the founders who were ‘nuts’ to dream big and had the ‘guts’ to realize this dream and thus find ‘glory’. It also has a message for the naysayers and the haters. It also talks to people who have not used the phone. It is unabashed in its confidence levels, bold and there is a reiteration of the message that-- “We have just started and we are still going on,” he added.
Along with the TV campaign, Micromax is also currently engaged in getting the new logo and design to the market as quickly as possible on the retail side with new packaging and changing the retail presences with the new design.
“On TV, we are focusing on building very rapid awareness of our new campaign. We will be on the IPL and that will be our key driver. As these things start settling down, we will need to further embed what 'Nuts: Guts: Glory' really means and so you will start seeing a lot of activity on digital,” informed Sen. Digital campaigns around the new messaging would start in May, he told us.
Similarly, Sen admitted that outdoor and radio would have a role to play in the overall 360 degree campaign planned for the coming months. However, these would start rolling out by late May.
“Right now the focus is on building awareness. We will certainly be on TV. We have a long term with Cricbuzz, so we will see some aspects of our advertising on Cricbuzz. There are a lot of properties on IPL where we cannot participate because of competitive issues but wherever we can, we will be present. In small towns we are doing ambient visibility, wall paintings, etc. to promote our flagship product; Canvas 6. Radio, I think, is very well suited for our messaging. We are in discussion with radio channels. This (radio campaign) will be more about the philosophy rather than branding,” he said.