In an exclusive chat with afaqs! the VP and country head of HMD Global talks about Nokia 2.2 and its latest campaign featuring Alia Bhatt.
That India is the second largest smartphone market in the world (China being the first), is a known fact. Hence, HMD Global Oy - the exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones and tablets - chose India for the global launch of the Nokia 2.2. For Nokia, India continues to be a very important market; this isn't the first time the brand has made a global announcement here. In fact, the new Nokia 2.2 will be manufactured in India.
Last week, Nokia released a series of ads as part of the marketing campaign. Conceptualised and created by Grey group, the campaign features Nokia's brand ambassador Alia Bhatt. Four ad films have been released in the first phase of the campaign and more ads will go on-air in the days to come.
Through this launch, Nokia is targeting consumers who are willing to buy a phone between Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000. The brand's target group is millennials looking for a reliable phone, at an affordable price. The brand is also trying hard to impress customers who do not want to replace their phone too fast.
Speaking to afaqs!, Ajey Mehta, vice president and country head - India, HMD Global, says, "Alia (Bhatt) connects best with millennials. She is the perfect fit for our brand. The mass appeal that she brings to the table is unparalleled. Our values and the values that she stands for are absolutely in sync."
In the last couple of years, the brand has associated with a lot of assets to get a broad platform and connect with the millennials. For example, this year Nokia returned as the lead sponsor of Shahrukh Khan's Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR); it gave the brand major visibility.
Nokia 2.2 is the first of the 2-series of Nokia smartphones to be part of the Android One program. It features an end-to-end, 5.7-inch display with a very discreet selfie notch. The phone provides sophisticated AI, low-light imaging - one of its biggest USPs. Secondly, it has a dedicated Google assistance button to make a major difference in the way consumers interact with the device.
Nokia has always stood for reliability and trust and that is the pillar that the brand continuously wants to build on. With updates come new applications, experiences and features, for example, all Nokia handsets that were running on Android Nougat (7) are now on Android Pie (9). And with Android 9 (Pie), Nokia 2.2 offers access to features like new digital wellbeing tools - a dashboard, app timer, Do Not Disturb - adaptive battery, adaptive lighting etc. The brand has even come up with a new tagline - Aaj better, Kal aur bhi behtar.
However, the Indian cellphone market is currently flooded with Chinese brands - Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, OnePlus, etc. So, will the Nokia 2.2 help the brand regain its past glory?
"This industry has always been competitive, but we identify what a consumer's need is and launch products to satisfy that need. The Nokia 2.2 is the most affordable and accessible phone available today at this price point, in the Indian market. This is the best imaging phone with AI-powered' low-light' imaging as well as HDR that makes bright light imaging clear and sharp. So, it has all the ingredients to be the most successful cellphone in its genre," says Mehta. He adds, "We will continue to build the Nokia brand. And we will make sure that Nokia is among the top three smartphone brands in the next 4-5 years."
The Nokia 2.2 is available in Tungsten Black and Steel at an introductory price of Rs 6,999 for the 2/16 GB storage variant and Rs 7,999 for the 3/32GB storage variant. The smartphone will be available pan-India across top mobile retail outlets and online on Flipkart and Nokia.com/phones.
In terms of ad spends, the brand deeply analyses the products being launched, the propositions and the price point and basis where the target group shops or hangs out, accordingly the marketing strategy is planned.
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As for this campaign, the brand has opted to go with a combination of traditional, digital, retail, and social media. "We will mix all four mediums and dial up one and dial down another depending on who the target audience is. For example, during the ICC Cricket World Cup, we will be opting for traditional and digital media," says Mehta, signing off.