Micromax - Hugh Jackman association more than just another celebrity endorsement

Bringing on board Hollywood's hottest celebrity will address Micromax's specific problem of not being acceptable to the young urban mobile users, who prefer intl brands Apple & Samsung

e4m by Twishy
Updated: Oct 24, 2013 9:18 AM
Micromax - Hugh Jackman association more than just another celebrity endorsement

Just when brands were betting big on Katrina, Shahrukh and Deepika, Micromax claws in Wolverine’s Hugh Jackman. Micromax has pulled off a staggering move as who would have imagined the macho Hollywood actor endorsing our homegrown brand?

Building on the promise of ‘Nothing like anything’ experience, Micromax has signed one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, Hollywood superstar Hugh Jackman as its brand ambassador. In a first-of-its-kind association for the brand, the celebrated actor will be seen endorsing the Canvas series of smartphones for Micromax. The association would start with the new Micromax smartphone – Canvas Turbo, to be launched soon in the Indian market.

Speaking on the association, Shubhodip Pal, Chief Marketing Officer, Micromax said, “We are very excited to welcome Hugh Jackman in the Micromax family as he truly embodies the aspirational, reinventing and fearless persona of the brand Micromax. As we look to expand our footprint across the globe in various international markets, the association with the Hugh Jackman is an ideal partnership for us to connect with audiences as he is the leading name in the entertainment industry in the world.”

He further added, “At Micromax, we have always believed in offering products and services that empower our consumers with the latest technologies and innovations. This is a strategic partnership and we look forward to a creating a strong 360-degree campaign with Canvas Turbo to bring alive this new experience for our audiences across print, TV and online platforms.”

Only Indian brands can understand the significance of Indian festivals. This time, before Diwali, Micromax has played its trump card by signing Hugh Jackman as its brand ambassador. We have to wait and watch to see whether this Diwali brings blessings for Micromax or will be lost in the sound of crackers.

Micromax is a leader in the Indian rural market and it has been trying to establish itself in the metros as well. After having several attempts with Indian brand ambassadors such as Akshay Kumar and Dhoni, which proved beneficial, the brand has now decided to take a big and bold step to stand apart from competition. Will this association work and escalate the brand’s imagery?

Will the Wolverine star make it plush?
Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder CEO, brand-comm said, “Micromax is a bit of a challenger brand and the key thing has been pricing. It has been aggressive and is looking at attacking bigger brands. There is a certain profile of the existing Micromax users and if a brand has to grow, then it has to find new customers. Younger people may not be looking at it, and they prefer to pay more for a bigger brand such as Apple or Samsung. This is precisely the problem that the celebrity endorsement tries to address. The fans of Wolverine or Hugh Jackman are very different from the existing Micromax users. He has a following among the audience that Micromax is targeting.”

Sridhar added, “This association makes a lot of sense as most of the Indian brands are with the Priyanka Chopras of the world. The brand has given up the imagery of a ‘desi’ brand. Its products offer tremendous value for the price. I think for the kind of products Micromax has, it can command a better premium than now, and that’s probably the objective over the years. It is an interesting association and not one more celebrity endorsement. It will address the specific problem of not being acceptable to the young mobile users.”

According to Abraham Koshy, Professor, Marketing, IIM Ahmedabad, Micromax came as a low-cost brand but now it has a much larger ambition. It is an Indian company trying to create a brand for itself. It wants to get into a bigger league and to do that, one has to have a spokesperson who gives it an international appeal.  Koshy said, “The association will give a larger than life image to the brand. The timing is also interesting given the controversies that the brand is facing. It might have been expensive, but it is worth it. It is an interesting case study where the brand does not show any indication about the origin and gives a feel that it is international.”

Micromax has been seen as an Indian company which produces economical handsets. It has taken this leap to give due weightage to the brand and make it aspirational for consumers. It has been a challenge for the brand to elevate its brand imagery from rural to urban. Already, many attempts have been made to do so but all in vain, and in metros people appreciate the products but they don’t prefer to be associated with this brand.

However, this time, it is a good attempt to make its imagery international by signing one of the superstars from Hollywood. We assume that it should work for the brand as they are constantly coming up with improved quality products. Does the brand have to give up the Indian tag to become popular in the international market? Indian technology products are still considered to be inferior as compared to the West. This is a well calculated move, but at the same time Micromax should also ensure that the star doesn’t overshadow the brand as in case of many other celebrity endorsements.

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