Zen Mobiles, launched in 2010 with a pre-determined thought of tapping the rural segment, has now shifted gears in terms of advertising and positioning to reach out to the urban segment and the metros.
The latest TVC series by the brand evidently depicts this decision. The first TVC rolled out looked specifically for the rural consumer that could relate with the iconic Amitabh Bachchan speaking their desi language, while the recent campaign to promote ‘shortcut keypad’ feature has been given a 360 degree turnaround in terms of storyboard and presentation.
Bates 141 is the creative agency for Zen Mobiles, while the media mandate is with Prabhatam Advertising.
Smarth Bansal, Head - Marketing, Zen Mobiles, explained, “The shift has been intentionally done to revamp the brand imagery and make Zen a brand in metros and key urban towns.”
Speaking exclusively to exchange4media, Zen Mobiles brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan said, “It’s a pleasure to be able to partner a mobile brand which has been acting as a conduit of change in the mobile handset segment by churning out excellent quality phones at affordable prices. The exquisite repertoire of mobile handsets launched over the past few months has taken Zen Mobiles to its quintessential juncture with improved technology with great style.”
On being asked about the reason for choosing to endorse the mobile brand, he replied, “I have always associated myself with brands which have over the years been successful in winning the trust of people and in which I could pose my faith without having any iota of doubt. Zen Mobiles is such a brand, which believes in quality along with incorporating the best of new age applications at affordable prices, thus providing consumers a superior product with constantly improving features and services.”
The current TVCs on air are for M111, touted as India’s first Triple GSM phone, and M26, India’s first full multimedia shortcut phone, where Bachchan, using a local language, tries to convince the masses to become more fast in life by using shortcut phone of Zen Mobiles.
On the growth of the mobile industry in India, Bansal remarked, “Mobile handset industry in India is the biggest growth story for the country, probably at par with IT, but I believe it has still a long way to go. The consumers in urban India are evolving not by the day but by the hour and are constantly demanding handsets that can match their pace to ease the increasing complexities.”
Bansal believes that the rural market has a lot of potential for the mobile brands. “The rural market, which is still largely untapped, demands products that offer basic functionality along with some eye-catching features at competitive prices,” he pointed out.
While new entrants in the Indian mobile market continue to flow in, Bansal is of the opinion that the larger pie will only be occupied by the big players in the category. “Eventually, the handset market will consolidate to an extent as it will be a story of survival of the fittest. There will be some clear big players emerging and others will only be able to continue in smaller pockets of the country. This is because this industry requires constant investment into strengthening product, R&D and the market strategy. Most players would not be able to sustain the level of response time and the speed and flexibility demanded by the mobile industry,” he noted.
And as the market has responded as per expectations, the brand is pumping in more money to make its presence felt through its various marketing activities. “We have increased the marketing budget for year 2011 by 50 per cent due to overwhelming response from the consumers. The budget will be around Rs 75 crore for this year,” Bansal concluded.
Zen Mobiles is competing with new entrants like Lava Mobile, Micromax Mobile, Karbonn Mobiles and Maxx Mobile. The average marketing budgets for these companies range between Rs 60 crore and Rs 70 crore, whereas the established players like Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson spend anywhere between Rs 150 crore and Rs 200 crore.