BlackBerry had been creating a lot of noise in the Indian handset market until 2012. However, Samsung’s aggressive market push with innovate products has seen the brand capturing a huge chunk of the Indian handset market. Concurrently, BlackBerry’s smartphone market share in India fell from around 15 per cent in 2011 to less than 8 per cent in 2012 as per Convergence Catalyst estimates.
RIM, now renamed BlackBerry, shipped about 5.5 million smartphones to India between January 2012 and July 2012, accounting for 12.1 per cent of such shipments to the country, compared to Samsung Electronics’ 41.6 per cent share and Nokia India’s 19.2 per cent share, according to a report in October 2012 by CyberMedia Research.
In a bid to reclaim its market share, BlackBerry changed its brand proposition to ‘Action starts here’, which was supported by large scale marketing activities. Outdoor played a significant role in that marketing campaign, which lasted for six months.
Now, BlackBerry is bullish once again on the outdoor advertising space to promote its latest handset addition – Z10. The latest outdoor campaign is spread across 34 cities and involves using 300-plus outdoor touch-points.
Commenting on the role of outdoor in BlackBerry’s media plan, Ashish Gupta, Director – Marketing, BlackBerry India said, “Outdoor is an integral part of our media plan. The biggest challenge in outdoor is to capture key strategic locations and plan in advance. We at BlackBerry have a good outdoor planning cycle in place and that’s the reason why we are able to create impressive visibility.”
Gupta further shared that BlackBerry invests around 15-20 per cent of its marketing budget on outdoor, depending on its marketing needs. For this particular outdoor campaign, BlackBerry has used large format media such as bus shelters and billboards. The brand has also included mall facades in Tier II cities and heavy branding in corporate parks is also being done across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. “We are looking at targeting hyper connect ‘BB people’, as we call, across all our outdoor touch-points,” Gupta added.
The campaign has been executed by VivaKi. Gupta also mentioned that BlackBerry will soon roll out another massive outdoor campaign to promote its newly introduced a cheaper entry-level subscription plan in India for its communications services in a bid to increase its share in a price-sensitive and hyper-competitive smartphone market.
It will be interesting to see what communication Samsung will devise for its Galaxy S4 as well as how other handset players will be countering BlackBerry’s latest communication drive.