Micromax Qube: Can't get enough of 'it'

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | October 08, 2010
In its new commercial, the country's largest mobile handsets company is out to engross the users like never before

For a domestic handset company that's apparently out to eat into the share of telecom biggies such as Nokia and Samsung, there is no need to lure the customers by keeping the communication 'desi'. Micromax is following this rule with its latest campaign for Qube X550, a newly launched touch screen handset with a 3D interface.

The film opens on an ongoing struggle between two soldiers and a bunch of militants. Taking advantage of the fire and smoke emanating as the result of a blast, one of the soldiers gets closer to the enemy by hiding behind a car. To his surprise, another soldier is already sitting beside the car, giggling while exploring the Micromax Qube handset. Firing at the armed militant present in a house nearby, the soldier tells his colleague to either focus on bringing down the enemy or be prepared to get killed.

All this while, the other soldier, still hooked to the handset, continues to laugh. Left with no other option, his fellow soldier snatches the handset from him and throws it in the air. The handset lands up in the house where the militant is positioned. As he grabs the annoying soldier by the collar and yells at him for being irresponsible, the gunshot sounds stop all of a sudden.

Both the soldiers pay attention to the noise of laughter coming out of the house and the film ends with the voice over: ''s so much fun, you will forget everything'.

The campaign has been conceptualised by Lowe Lintas. The team includes Deepesh Jha, Amer Jaleel and Shayan in creative and Amjad, Damodaran and Shrishti in client servicing. The film has been directed by Vivek Kakkad of Curious Films.

Both Jaleel and Shayan zeroed in on Jordan as the location where the film was shot and to make the ad appear and sound more international, a foreign language was used along with the subtitles.

Recalling how the team arrived at the insight of an engrossing handset, Jha reveals that when the client handed over the handset to the agency for a demo, they realised that the features were engaging enough to make an individual oblivious to his/her surroundings.

"The best part is that the brand does not carry the baggage of being positioned as very 'Indian'. Similar to the brand, its communication is very international," he adds.

The Micromax X550 Qube sports a 3.2" TFT screen (240x400 pixel resolution). As the name suggests, the new 3D Qube user interface on the device forms a cube shape, with sides rotating into place as one swipes the screen.

As per the industry estimates, Micromax is the largest Indian domestic mobile handsets company in terms of units shipped and the third largest mobile handset seller in India. Home grown handset makers such as Spice, Micromax and Karbonn captured 14 per cent of the mobile phone market in India in FY 2009-10, compared to just 3-4 per cent market share in the previous fiscal.

Bull's Eye?

Raghu Bhat, founder director, Scarecrow Communications points out how clearly the film illustrates the scale of Micromax's ambition to be the biggest player in the Indian handset market.

"To begin with, the brand name Qube is highly evocative. The idea of 'people getting engrossed in the brand' is not staggeringly innovative but the execution more than makes up for it. The detailing is commendable and of a level not usually seen in Indian advertising. Considering the fact that Micromax comes up with innovative features all the time, this will help grab eyeballs and market share. I feel the only caveat is - this ad may not have a very long shelf life," he says.

Titus Upputuru, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi loves the ad for its look and feel and finds the execution very realistic.

"I really like the phirangi look and the use of sub-titles. The film is well shot and I must congratulate the director for his work. The question is: Where is Akshay Kumar? Isn't he the brand ambassador for Micromax? Or do they have separate strategies? The truth is that I don't miss him. Imagine having him in this film. The director would have been told to take only some close-ups and shots of mountains in the background and Akshay pole vaulting between them," he says.

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