A potential brand war could be in the making here.
Tech brands taking a jab at each other is not new. However, using where their gadgets are assembled or made as the proverbial knockout punch is new. Mivi, a brand known for its earwear and wearables, has taken this proposition to make an entire ad only to mock rival brand boAt.
The 90-second shows an anthropomorphic Mivi touting his Made in India chops while boAt — a not-so-close version of co-founder Aman Gupta — splutters defending his “claims to make in India” while a Made in China lies next to him.
An Economic Times report in 2022 said boAt was ramping up manufacturing in India because the government had brought down customs duties on components for manufacturing wearables and hearables to nil from April 1 2022, while imposing a 15-20% duty on finished products from FY23-26.
A change from 2020 when Gupta told BGR that "in order to balance the cost and product efficiency, boAt relies extensively on China. It is the place where boAt headphones are made. The easiest way to describe would be that boAt headphones are designed in India but assembled in China."
Thus, the ad uses the assembled in India jab to mock boAt.
Be it the statue Mivi is carving to accusing boAt of “just putting things together” against its rival's penchant for making things for the Indian consumer. The ad has all the tropes of how one brand is better than the other.
boAt’s parent company Imagine Marketing, as per the International Data Corporation’s (IDC), led the India Wearable Market in 3Q22 (July-Sep) with a 32.1% market share. This market comprises wrist brands, smartwatches, and earwear.
Leading the Truly Wireless (TWS) earwear category was boAt with a 41.7% share. Seminole (Mivi) stood fourth with a 6.7% market share.
The timing of the ad is circumspect because season two of Shark Tank India where Gupta is a shark is being broadcast and streamed on the Sony network right now.
While the ad will surely receive a tick mark for igniting brand wars in 2023, the anthropomorphism trope is not new and reminds of Apple’s Get a Mac campaign, a brainchild of TBWA\Media Arts Lab, which ran in the second half of the 2000s.
More recently, Samsung has made a habit of mocking Apple whenever it releases an iPhone over its supposed substandard features.