Anirban Roy Choudhury

"Activations like music fests will help widen our reach": Vikas Agarwal, OnePlus

Giant hoardings featuring Katy Perry and Dua Lipa are already up in Mumbai and Pune. Grammy winners and global music sensations, Perry and Lipa are touring India and will perform on November 16, 2019, in Mumbai. Who is hosting this event in India? OnePlus!

Chinese smartphone maker, OnePlus according to Counterpoint Research leads the premium smartphone segment with a 35 per cent market share in Q3, 2019. It is followed by Samsung, with 23 per cent and Apple with 22 per cent. Despite being the last entrant among the three it has toppled the giants in the country and general manager, India, Vikas Agarwal credits it to the OnePlus community and says it decided to launch 'OnePlus Music Festival' as a gratification initiative.

"Activations like music fests will help widen our reach": Vikas Agarwal, OnePlus

Alongside Perry and Lipa, The OnePlus Music Festival will feature Indian musicians, too. The lineup, Agarwal says, has been created after analysing the streaming behavior of OnePlus users and the target group, “We studied their preferences in Spotify, Saavn and the likes,” shares Agarwal. “We have been in India for some time now and we are ready to take it to the next level. We always try to look at unique opportunities. In the past, we looked at franchises such as Avengers and Star Wars to offer unique experiences through a limited edition smartphone. Likewise, we have identified gaming and music as the unique area of interest of our core committee,” Agarwal adds.

Also Read: "The community is our unique advantage; not many brands have it": OnePlus' Vikas Agarwal

He believes that the youngsters most likely to buy OnePlus smartphones and other products are "starved" of global festivals, which are common in the West and other parts of the world. He feels that “OnePlus is still a very small and new brand in India,” and an activation of this sort "will help the brand widen its reach." Agarwal's estimate is that about 30,000 people will attend the event. The brand is promoting the festival through ads on theatre screens, print, radio and OOH primarily in Pune and Mumbai, which Agarwal defines as the brand's biggest markets.

The event, which will be mounted in a stadium with a capacity of more than 40,000 (DY Patil Stadium Navi Mumbai) could make it impossible for all the attendees to touch, feel or experience OnePlus products. Agarwal says, “In some sections OnePlus elements such as TV, phone, etc. would be displayed as this is a brand event and a good opportunity for brand awareness."

Also Read: "All the media we've done is one big experiment": Vikas Agarwal, OnePlus

Katy Perry and Dua Lipa are premium performers and come with a hefty price tag. Though Agarwal said it is an initiative for the community, it is not a free one. Tickets start at Rs 3000 and go as high as Rs 60,000 (Superfan) for the one-day extravaganza. Apart from gate revenue, OnePlus has also locked in on a couple of sponsors and Agarwal says he open to having more partners on board.

“One of the reasons why these large events have not scaled up in India is because of the viability gap. The average purchasing power and sponsorships don’t add up to cover the cost of such large scale events. As a brand, we are not focussing on this as a business. We would like to do it at a cost-neutral basis but even if there is an overshoot, too, its fine, as our primary objective is to offer a unique experience to our community and not make profits," he concludes.