Yash Bhatia

Will the nostalgia-driven razr flip phone work for Motorola?

Shivam Ranjan, Motorola's head of marketing, Asia Pacific, offers insights into the idea behind relaunching flip phones, the target groups, and whether the nostalgia factor is really at work here.

Despite the rectangular design and touchscreen of today’s smartphones, flip phones – Motorola’s signature style – haven’t disappeared. It has got a new life, thanks to, who else but, Motorola. The brand has launched two flip phones – the razr 40 and razr 40 ultra and also appointed actor Kriti Sanon as its ambassador.

The campaign #FlipTheScript featuring the actor in an action avatar has been launched by the brand. This campaign likely aims to showcase a different side of the actor, portraying them in an adventurous and action-packed role.

According to CyberMedia Research (CMR), the foldable phone market in India is projected to grow at a 64% CAGR until 2026, a 20-fold growth in foldable smartphone equipment.

Positioned as a premium flagship phone, the razr 40 Ultra is priced at Rs 89,999, while the razr 40 costs Rs 59,999. They will compete with flip phones from rivals Vivo and Samsung. 

On the idea behind relaunching flip phones in the market, Shivam Ranjan, head of marketing, Asia Pacific at Motorola, shares, “We have been pioneers in the flip phone space. If you look at our history, we were the first ones to launch flippable phones. The most popular flip phone was the razr V3, with over 100 million units sold worldwide.”

“In 2019, we became the first to launch a flip phone, even before Samsung. Since then, we have launched three versions of the razr . This is the fourth generation of the razr. We have gained a lot of insights from customers through foldable devices.”

The insights indicate that the consumers are looking for useability, optimised battery life, and a flip form factor that helps them stand out, in terms of design and style, adds Ranjan.

The brand aims to target consumers in the 25-30 age group, including content creators and customers who are ahead of the trends. 

On the nostalgia factor, Ranjan clarifies, “We are not just looking to play on nostalgia. As a brand, it is important for us to not rely solely on nostalgia. Nostalgia will exist for those who know the razr series. We see it as an advantage to learn from our experience and ensure that we create the most advanced product in the flip phone category. In our communication, we want to highlight the product as the most innovative and advanced foldable in the market right now.”

The brand also recognises that the younger generation may not relate to nostalgia alone.

To market the two products, the brand plans to collaborate with lifestyle influencers. It has already conducted a four-week campaign with influencers, who have flipped the script in their lives. 

Motorola intends to make significant investments in digital marketing. It plans to use television, CTV, OTT, OOH and cinema halls for advertising. In OOH, it is also considering digital OOH.

Ranjan predicts a bright future for the flip phone market in India, stating, “It is here to stay. If we observe global trends, it will continue to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years. This is why we are seeing multiple players entering this segment. The technology and components are maturing at a fast pace.”

The razr 40 Ultra features a 3.6-inch pOLED screen external display, when closed, which one can use to type, email, chat, watch videos on YouTube and get directions. Flip it open and a 6.9-inch display is revealed. 

The phones also come with a hinge mechanism that allows users to hold them at any angle. Ranjan says, “With this, one can see the preview of the recording while shooting a video. And, the same can be done while taking a selfie too.”

Will the nostalgia-driven razr flip phone work for Motorola?

To enhance the phone’s aesthetics, the brand has partnered with Pantone, a global colour trend forecasting agency. The phone has been launched in Pantone Color of the Year 2023 (Viva Magenta). The Pantone branding is prominently featured on the phone that also boasts a vegan leather finish. The devices can be pre-booked starting July 3, 2023 and go on sale from July 15, 2023 onwards on Amazon, Motorola.in, Reliance Digital and retail stores.

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