Is OnePlus latest unboxing video a hit or miss?

Industry experts weigh in on the recently released unboxing video of the OnePlus 7 Pro, featuring "Bunty" of Sacred Games

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: May 20, 2019 8:50 AM
Bunty Sacred Games OnePlus

Are you bored of watching smartphone unboxing videos by tech gurus who try to give total gyaan about the phone? Well, here comes something unusual. Smartphone major OnePlus unveiled their latest phone last week. Soon after the launch, the company uploaded a video on the digital platform, which created a lot of buzz for its content and approach.

Netflix recently partnered with OnePlus and unveiled posters of its much-awaited action drama series Sacred Games 2. The released posters featuring Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui were shot on OnePlus 7 Pro. This is for the first time that a brand has taken such a bold step.

The four-minute video is a completely different experience for viewers, as they are not used to these kinds of content from smartphone makers. Right from the idea to dialogues and character, everything is fresh.

The video features ‘Bunty’ (Jatin Sarna), the popular character from Sacred Games. He is seen unboxing the newly launched OnePlus 7 Pro, using harsh language, which character of ‘Bunty’ in Sacred Games is known for.  In fact, before the start of the video, YouTube has put a disclaimer, “The video may be inappropriate for some users”. In a span of 5 days, it has already garnered the attention of 1,793,787 viewers.

We spoke to industry experts to know their view on the digital video and whether it is able to strike a right chord?

According to Jagdeep Kapoor, CMD, Samsika Marketing Consultants, “The ad and the unboxing is explosive! The opening is attention-grabbing and the character is really ‘one plus ‘. Secondly, it cuts the clutter. The lingo is relevant to today’s young audience. If, we can see episodes of the series with this language, why not the ad. It is real. All the while, through the interesting behavior and language (maybe unacceptable to some), makes the brand acceptable to many! But, in an unnoticeable manner, explains all the features and benefits to a tough customer. It is able, acceptable and memorable. Whether people buy behaviour or not, they will buy the brand.

“Setting the unboxing format in the sacred games universe is a smart move since it lets the phone do the talking in a context that regular people can enjoy as well. While product placement in movies and shows could turn out to be a jarring visual experience, which is usually the case, this coming together is entertaining and feels more authentic in a strange way” defines, Axon Alex, Head of Strategy, Jack in the Box Worldwide.

“What this does for the brand, “make it more accessible to people beyond the tech universe where it currently reigns king. By using the codes of its own category, it does so without alienating its core audience. One Plus becomes more ubiquitous while keeping its cult brand credentials intact tying up with a show which has built a cult-like following” he adds on.

Raghu Bhat, Founder & Copywriter, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi describes that the ad stands out effortlessly, with a funny script. “The acting is top notch. The language is 'real'. One Plus is ok to embrace the trade-off of achieving high recall while possibly, alienating some people. However, other brands should refrain from doing similar ads. The next brand to do so, will not be a 'trend-setter'. With this ad, One Plus comes across as a real, authentic voice, in contrast to the 'insincere' and 'lofty incredulous' storylines that pervade advertising”.

Ashish Mishra, Managing Director, Interbrand has a different take on the ad, where he raises few observations to the brand.

Mishra said “There’s a glut of edgy content as a formula on streaming platforms. Driven by the style of global content on streaming platforms and aggravated by a pent up desire by creators to go uncensored. That defines the content style of today. Less than the content it is the tone of voice that defines it. Creating sameness across all the platforms. Advertising simply borrows from it. Without caring much about its appropriateness or relevance”.

He further added, “That’s the downside of such sensationalisation aimed at creating attention on social. It works evidently. Such kind of content trends and this is trending. But is that an upside truly? Is this the only way? Is this tone of voice and personality reflective of the brand? If it is indeed designed to be a brand that is edgy and targets the consumers of such content then it surely works at a brand level too. That’s where there may be questions to ask. It surely will not fly with both the genders. Is the brand ok with putting off half its potential target gender-wise? Or is the desperation to get viral reached a level where that is all that matters?”

At a responsibility level, it creates more questions. Is this how brands want to contribute to pop culture? Or it is fine for the brand to be so on the digital platforms that are supposedly not family consumption?”

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