Shreyas Kulkarni

Ranbir Kapoor plays emcee, while his film’s crew takes centre stage as experts in Oppo Reno6 5G’s unboxing spot

hFrom W+K Delhi, it’s uncommon to see a Bollywood biggie not be the focus in a spot.

Ranbir Kapoor’s new spot for Oppo Reno6 5G is curious in several ways. For starters, the major Bollywood star is not the focus of the five-minute spot. He, instead, plays emcee and has the experts from his film crew take centre stage and give their take on the phone's features. He also manages to get a band to belt out a catchy tune while at it.

All this happens at the unboxing video of Chinese smartphone brand Oppo’s Reno6 5G. Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) Delhi is behind this spot; the advertising agency won the Reno account in May this year (2021).

Unboxing videos are dull. They, most often, have a guy with a tech/technical moniker open a smartphone box and rattle off the product’s features like a school kid at a poem recital.

The one featuring Kapoor is a refreshing change because we do not see him do the same bit as the tech experts do on the unboxing videos we’re accustomed to watching on YouTube.

Second, the experts who give their take on the Reno6 5G’s features are not random actors. They’re legit folks from the entertainment industry and have walked the talk. Kapoor was bang on when he said, “I am going to shut up and let the experts do all the talking.”

There is Jason Arland who is a makeup artist and a beauty influencer. He has walked the Lakme Fashion Week ramp and is a senior manager of artistry with MyGlamm, a makeup brand and education platform. He offers his take on the smartphone’s looks.

“Listen, I’ve played a photographer before, but this guy is the real deal, you should listen to him,” says Kapoor, in a shout out to cinematographer Parth Sayani whose portfolio includes the likes of Spotify, Volkswagen, HP, MTV Unplugged, among others. Sayani gives his take about the Reno6 5G’s camera; watch him get hyped about the bokeh video.

And then there is M.B., the editor who has worked on movies such as Bajirao Mastani take the phone and try to edit HD+ videos; she gives it a thumbs up.

That three legit experts give their say on this smartphone instead of Kapoor reciting it from a script is what caught our eyeballs.

Gautam Narayanan
Gautam Narayanan

Reno is all about being a human first brand and that’s what the agency tried to bring in the spot tells Narayanan. “When Sayani says “It’s mad bro” about the phone’s bokeh video feature, he translates the feature simply and humanly…”

Narayanan also remarked how Oppo knew what humans wanted and helped other sectors too; it led was part of the selfie wall revolution at airports too. “It also led the growth of eyewear as a fashion accessory because the brand led the camera growth phase… It offers great tech at affordable prices.”

Kapoor is amid a sci-fi flick’s action scene when the spot starts. We felt it was a cheeky call out to the actor’s long-delayed Brahmastra flick but the W+K Delhi MD was quick to jog our memory and point us to his costume’s colours. “We all know how important the first five to ten seconds are… If you look at Ranbir’s clothes, you will see it reflect the Reno colours that look different from different angels.”

And let us not forget the sudden introduction of the Chennai-based alternative band 'The F16s' while Kapoor kept the Reno6 5G on charging. “The question we asked ourselves was how can we give people information about the product as well as broader cultural snippets,” explained Narayanan on this sudden plot twist to the ad.

We could not help but imagine the F16 fighter jets and if their speed was an analogy to the Reno6’s charging prowess.

For the agency, the important thing besides entertaining us was to deliver the smartphone’s unboxing. “We have to do justice to the product so we have this entertaining Bollywood legend along with experts doling out information about the products,” signed off Narayanan.

We also showed the ad to two creative experts and asked for their thoughts on it:

Sambit Mohanty, head of creative, south, McCann Worldgroup

Sambit Mohanty
Sambit Mohanty

This is quite entertaining as a different take on ‘unboxing’ - but up to a point. What I liked is the no-pretenses approach with RK getting the pros to judge the phone’s tech. What I didn’t, is the inclusion of a band playing a song that felt quite random within the setting of a film shoot. I won’t be surprised if many choose to skip that bit altogether.

Sraman Majumdar, senior creative director, Brave New World

Sraman Majumdar
Sraman Majumdar

Tech products tend to lack a certain human touch and this was a refreshing change. Loved how Ranbir stepped back in his own world and handed the mic to real pros on set. It’s a rich premise for expert authenticity and making a famous face more relatable. The camera work could arguably have been less scripted for reinforcing the honesty of the reviews.

The musical performance felt like an unnecessary device that didn’t add enough brand impact to merit the duration. (Perhaps there’s an integrated campaign leg that better justifies it.) All in all, a fun watch and a subtle dig at the usual phone commercial tropes. More of this, please.

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