Was featuring Robert Downey Jr. in the new OnePlus ad film a smart move?

Industry experts believe that although it made sense strategically, it didn't create a lasting impact

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: May 27, 2019 9:52 AM

OnePlus has been creating a lot of buzz this entire month. With the launch of OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro in the market. First with it’s unboxing video featuring Bunty (Jatin Sharma), a character from the hit Netflix series, ‘Sacred Games’. Now, the trend is on the ad film OnePlus has produced featuring Robert Downey Jr. who plays Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Movies. This ad comes out just after the last movie of the Avengers franchise was released. Robert Downey Jr. replaces Amitabh Bachan as the brand ambassador of OnePlus.

The present agreement with Robert Downey Jr. is only limited to the Asian demographic. The reason being that the Marvel franchise has a huge following in China according to Hollywood Reporter. Getting a prominent star from the franchise was a great way to leverage the brand and can be considered as a major marketing tactic. 

OnePlus has always had a reputation of providing its customers with the best possible specifications at an affordable rate. This time, however, along with the price hike, OnePlus doesn't spend a dime on the most useful feature- ‘water resistance’. But spends on featuring a high-profile Hollywood star Robert Downey Jr. Was this a smart move OnePlus made? exchange4media asked industry experts to share their views on the new OnePlus ad film. 

According to Anindya Banerjee, ECD, FCB Ulka, the idea to use Robert Downey Jr. was a great strategic idea especially so soon after the last installment of the Avengers. Banerjee says, “Like all ads using celebrities, it falls flat in the creative execution. I mean, what was the writer thinking? Not only is there no idea, it just shamelessly tries to put in some dialogues for Robert Downey Jr.” 

Will it create a lasting impact on the mind of the consumer and instill brand recall? “Years down the line, I am pretty sure, people will just remember it as the ‘Robert Downey Junior waala ad’ instead of the brand name”, remarked Banerjee. 

Smartphone ads have become very celeb-centric says Raghu Bhat, Founder & Copywriter, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi. “One Plus goes one up by using Robert Downey Jr. Most smartphone ads talk about features but here the actor explains the 'Never Settle' philosophy using simple statements. Even though the words are preachy, Robert Downey Jr. makes you stop and listen. One Plus is constantly pushing the boundaries and this adds to the legend”, commented Bhat.

Ankit Nalotia, Founder, Mo Mantra poses the question, “What a flagship brand needs when it is already well-established in the mindset of the people?” 

“Nothing much right!”, states Nalotia. The new ad film by One Plus featuring Robert Downey Jr. is more of just an experiment or an attempt to be the part of the Avenger’s trend. “One plus never had a big celeb face in their cover before. Looking at his popularity and love among youngsters, this could be a completely new and effective strategy to launch OnePlus pro in the market. But it is all possible that OnePlus has taken such a step to bring OnePlus 7 Pro in the limelight, as OnePlus 7 can overshadow it due to its heavy recall in masses. It was just a cherry on the top move to bring in more reach and awareness”, remarked Nalotia. 

For Jagdeep Kapoor CMD, Samsika Marketing Consultants the choice of the brand ambassador is excellent. Kapoor talking about why it was a smart move says, “The brand comes out with a very strong brand personality bringing out discipline, precision, excellence and graceful movement while maintaining control. The ad delivers an upscale image and the ad is ‘ One Plus’ just like the brand name.”

Lastly, N. Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research stated, “Robert Downey Jr. is an iconic star who has made it to stardom from the most difficult of personal circumstances. His legendary performances in the Iron man series have endeared him to audiences.”

“Using him for OnePlus, one which carries the 'Never Settle' tenet to the core, reinforces the brand's potential of achieving the impossible, which difficult as it sounds,  is within everyone's reach”, commented Chandramouli.

Robert Downey Jr. presents the OnePlus 7 Pro

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