Yash Bhatia

OPPO’s director of marketing communications decodes ‘Wake Up Sid’ campaign for Reno11 series launch

Karan Dua delves into the rationale behind OPPO's #SidWakesUp campaign, featuring the iconic Wake Up Sid cast.

OPPO India reunited the Wake Up Sid gang for its latest campaign #SidWakesUp to announce the launch of the Reno11 Series. The campaign was conceptualised by Famous Innovations featuring Ranbir Kapoor as Sid, Konkana Sen Sharma as Aisha, Namit Das as Rishi, and Shikha Talsania as Laxmi.

At first, the brand launched a shorter campaign in which Sid was seen attending his best friend Rishi’s engagement party with his carefree and goofy attitude. 

After launching the first campaign, the brand launched a longer campaign of around 5 minutes, which is nowadays strange to see by any brand. The film  continues the narrative from the movie, this time Sid moves to a new city i.e. Goa. He received the OPPO Reno11 Pro as a gift from his father, to capture memories in this new chapter of his life. 

As in the movie Kapoor played the role of a photographer, his character becomes a fitting representative to promote the phone's camera.

For the campaign, the creative agency acquired character rights from Dharma Productions, and music rights from Sony Music.

To decode the strategy behind this, we spoke to Karan Dua, director, marketing communications, OPPO India

Edited excerpts: 

Q: Revisiting the Wake Up Sid squad was a unique choice for the campaign. What inspired the decision to bring them back, and why was this particular film selected for the latest campaign?

A: The Oppo Reno11 Series has a remarkable 32MP Telephoto camera, promising distortion-free portraits. Recognising the potential of a campaign featuring Ranbir Kapoor, the idea of Wake Up Sid emerged organically. The revival of his character Sid as a photographer from the iconic coming-of-age film created a good platform for us to have a strong product narrative.

Q: The campaign has a powerful storyline that taps into nostalgia. How do you ensure that amidst the emotional narrative, consumers also retain a strong recall of the Reno11 Series product?

A: By organically weaving the product into the story, when Sid wakes up in Goa, he's not only leaving Mumbai, his home, but he's also stepping out of his comfort zone. Just like he helped Aisha make Mumbai her home, this time Aisha is doing the same for Sid. 

Amidst all this, we capture Sid’s emotions through the lens of the Oppo Reno11 Series, ensuring the phone always stays in the picture without being just a product placement. The smartphone acts as a companion to capture memories throughout this new journey that he is embarking on.

Q: While nostalgia can resonate with many, do you anticipate challenges for viewers who haven't seen the movie in connecting with the campaign's messaging?

A: To ensure that viewers who haven’t seen the movie find it interesting, both our TVC and the unboxing videos have independent storylines mentioning the features of the Oppo Reno11 Series. At the same time, we were conscious of the fact that both the assets should have individual narratives that people would love to watch irrespective of whether they have seen the movie or not. 

Even those who have not watched the movie will find these two TVC and unboxing videos to be complete stories. While the callback and the music are a great way to tap into the nostalgia of the movie, we have made sure that the current creatives include enough to motivate people to visit or revisit Wake Up Sid.

Q: Could you share insights into the brand's brief to the agency for this campaign? What were the key elements they emphasised to communicate OPPO's message effectively?

A: We tasked the agency with creating a campaign that prominently showcases how the perfect amalgamation of our hardware and software brings out the portrait feature of our Oppo Reno11 Series in an outdoor setting, making it your perfect travel companion. However, our aim wasn't just to produce another advertisement; rather, we sought a communication strategy that would spark widespread conversation about the phone. 

We specifically instructed the agency to leverage the influence of Ranbir Kapoor fully. Another core insight was that we wanted it to relate to the millennials, our target audience. They found the movie to be relatable while growing up. Working on this core consumer insight, we created something that resonated with them rather than just being a core advertising piece.

Moreover, we wanted to communicate to the world that our phone isn't just any ordinary camera phone but a device that captures stunning, distortion-free outdoor portraits for your travels.

Q: Why did you choose to invest in a nearly 5-minute-long ad when the essential goal for a smartphone brand is often to convey specifications? What motivated the decision to opt for an extended duration, and how does it align with the brand's communication strategy?

A: The mid-tier Android smartphone market in India has a cluttered landscape wherein every brand is trying to stand out with their communication and grab consumer’s attention. It’s difficult for a brand to get the message across in such a competitive price segment. We wanted to give the consumers their desired content. 

Rarely do you see brands taking a detour from the conventional advertising routes and through a strong 5-minute content piece, what we have been able to do is not only seamlessly integrate the product but engage our audience by bringing back the gang from the cult classic Wake Up Sid, in turn invoking nostalgia.

Q: The campaign generated a rumour about Wake Up Sid 2. How did this tactic help in generating curiosity and anticipation for the product? Anecdotally, more people seemed to want the sequel and the brand became a secondary part.

A: Nostalgia has made a resurgence in culture lately for our target audience, the Millennials. For them to take notice of our brand communication, we had to do it in a language they connected with. We could achieve this by leveraging the cult classic as a vehicle for the product launch. 

The impact of the campaign was such that whenever anyone would think of Wake Up Sid 2, they would think of OPPO. This way, we have been able to build a long-term association with our target audience which will help us with brand recall in the times to come. 

While some felt a sequel was in place, on finding out that this is a brand campaign and the way it has been executed, we received a lot of appreciation from people for the initiative that the brand took. 

Q: What led to the selection of Famous Innovations as the creative agency for the Reno series, and can you provide insights into the decision-making process behind this choice? Additionally, could you shed light on the status of the previous relationship with W+K?

A: Our agency selection happens through a well-laid-down evaluation process on several parameters. Famous Innovations ticked all the right boxes while working on this campaign and we could see the passion and innovation they brought to the table while working on the OPPO Reno11 Series campaign. 

What’s important is for an agency to understand the target audience and come up with relevant business solutions which are not only engaging for the audience but also weave a strong product proposition into the narrative.

Q: Can you provide details about the media mix employed in this campaign? (if you split in % wise on different mediums), how will the brand strategically utilise various channels to maximise reach and impact?

A: This is a 360-degree campaign for us wherein every medium is meeting a certain objective for us. While we are reaching out to the national audience and generating awareness through the conventional medium (TV ads), parallelly we are also using digital platforms to reach out to our target audience and existing OPPO users at digital touchpoints to create excitement and intrigue around the product. 

Each asset of the campaign had a specific role to play; be it building awareness about the new product series to solidify the intent to purchase through product information or going further down the funnel to drive conversions by giving clear reasons to purchase. 

Q: In the run-up to the campaign the teasers dropped on social media channels were just served on social media specifically. Is your media mix skewed heavily towards social media?

A: Different content pieces have different objectives and hence a different media strategy. In today’s fast-paced digital world, all brands have social media as an essential part of their media mix to drive conversations and organic chatter. 

However, the Reno series being the aspirational and premium imagery driver for OPPO, we can’t skip offline media channels as they too have a healthy share of investment in our media mix to ensure we are present at all brand touchpoints, both online and offline.

Q: Do you think such long-form ads can make for great viewing at theatres before the movie starts?

A: Witnessing our unboxing video on the silver screen would be fantastic. We'd love to see the story unfold in the theatres.

Q: Who is the target audience for this campaign? What demographics and characteristics define the primary audience that OPPO aimed to engage with through this marketing initiative?

A: Our campaign focuses on educated, affluent men and women aged 25-34 in metro and tier 1 cities who are affluent working professionals and run mid-scale businesses. This tech-savvy demographic actively seeks innovation and stays updated through diverse online sources.

Q: In terms of post-campaign activities, how does OPPO plan to sustain the momentum generated by this campaign and converted into tangible sales and market share?

A: We have a strong product-driven amplification plan post-launch to continue the product story and highlight Reno’s Portrait Camera capabilities which should result in tangible sales for the brand and help us increase our market share.

Q: Considering the timeline of the ad's release, did the performance or outcome of the movie Animal play a role in determining the timing for your ad?

A: The release of Animal was purely coincidental, but its timing significantly contributed to the hype surrounding our campaign. We certainly aren't complaining about the added buzz!

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