When it comes to global smartphone sales, Samsung has been the undisputed leader in the first quarter of 2016. However, Chinese handset maker Oppo has been making great strides registering sales growth of a whopping 145 per cent - the best performance in the quarter, according to data released by Gartner.
Oppo’s aggressive marketing strategy in India has been spot on with its investments on cricket – it was one of the biggest spenders in IPL -- and television entertainment which includes sponsorship on Color’s prime properties like ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘Comedy Nights’ and ‘24’. It has a marketing spend of Rs 140 crore, according to media reports, which even mentions its association with the International Cricket Council (ICC) as its new global partner for four years, from 2016 until 2020. Oppo has committed to pay $34 million over the next four years to ICC. Earlier this year, it roped in Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor as its brand ambassadors to promote its handsets.
“By leveraging partnership with these influencers, we have been able to get closer to the Indian customers and spread the love of taking selfies. Similarly, for cricket, we have not just associated with the International Cricket Council (ICC) as our official global partners but also signed on Yuvraj Singh, an ace cricketer and youth influencer, as our first sports ambassador for this cricket season,” divulges Sky Li, Global VP, MD of International Mobile Business and President of Oppo India.
Sky Li reveals details on the association with Colors and ICC, its marketing strategy for India and more...
1. You are the title sponsors of big properties like Comedy Nights Bachao, Bigg Boss 9, and now 24. What’s the strategy and the reason behind tying up with Colors?
Oppo as a brand has always focused on making users’ lives interesting. This partnership is yet another effort in that direction. Colors is a youth oriented platform whose shows reach out to audience across various age groups. With such a wide reach, it gives Oppo a chance to connect with the audience and bring its fans closer. It will help establish and expand our reach along with creating awareness about the innovative technology that our camera phones incorporate.
2. Oppo has recorded maximum impressions on television followed by Amazon, Vimal and Vodafone in IPL. How has IPL benefitted you in getting a firm footing in India?
Cricket is the most popular sport in India, amongst the young consumers who are also Oppo's targets. Thus, our association and investment during IPL period has given us a great platform to reach out to our consumers. It has helped us in connecting with not just current but potential consumers as well.
3. Which medium will get more focus when it comes to marketing and what’s the share?
While it is not convenient to reply figures, television is one of the most important media for us.
4. What’s your digital strategy for India? What’s its share in marketing spends?
Our digital strategy involves interaction with fans by various online campaigns like selfie campaign and charity campaigns.
5. You have partnered with ICC (International Cricket Council) till 2019. You are covering all World Cups and ICC Tournaments. What are your expectations from this partnership?
Oppo is the official global partner of International Cricket Council (ICC) which means we will be associated with the Council not just across tournaments but across countries giving us a platform to reach out to the audience worldwide. Through this partnership we expect to work in cohesion to not just bring alive the experience but also highlight Oppo’s camera technology and innovations.
6. You have tapped on the right pulse points in India to spike up your market share in India: Bollywood and cricket. How is it working out for you?
Very rightly said! Bollywood and cricket are definitely the right platforms to target Indian audience. Oppo is a camera phone known to take the perfect selfies and this is what we wanted to communicate via our celebrity users and influencers. We started out with Bollywood actors Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor as our South Asia Region brand ambassadors.
By leveraging partnership with these influencers, we have been able to get closer to the Indian customers and spread the love of taking selfies. Similarly, for cricket, we have not just associated with the International Cricket Council (ICC) as our official global partners but also signed on Yuvraj Singh, an ace cricketer and youth influencer, as our first sports ambassador for this cricket season.
7. What are the future marketing plans?
It will be around Oppo’s camera technology and innovation.
8. What’s your take on your competitors like Vivo, Leco and One Plus, especially Vivo, who have been going pretty robust with their investments and marketing strategy in India?
While we would not like to comment on competition, Oppo is working with its fans to develop and deliver the best camera phone products with excellent camera performance. We are aiming to be one of the top premium mobile brands here in India.
9. What’s your market share? How much are you expecting in this year?
We have been doing extremely well in the market both globally as well as in India. As per the IDC report, Oppo now ranks no 4 globally in the top 5 smartphone vendors list. We are also the best performing brand in the first quarter with sales growth of 145 per cent as per the Gartner report. In India, Oppo camera-focused F series products like F1 and F1 Plus has outstanding performance in its price range according to GFK report. We are aiming to provide Indian customers with best products and camera experience as always.