It seems that the Indian adland's golden boy, Ranveer Singh is having a dream run and every brand wants to bank on his consecutive box office hits. The Bollywood sensation has endorsed a number of brands since he first appeared on the silver screen - Durex Condoms, Thums Up, Colgate, Make My Trip, Royal Stag, Set Wet, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Siyaram's, Chings noodles, and even Vivo smartphones, to name a few.
Now, smartphone marketer Xiaomi India has roped in the star to endorse its line of smartphones. The actor will be responsible for bringing the disruption factor across the entire Xiaomi smartphone series. Xiaomi India announced Ranveer's association with the brand through a digital film where the actor showcases the yet-to-be-launched Redmi Note 7 while dancing his heart out to the track 'I'm sexy and I know it'.
The teaser ad was officially launched through Ranveer's twitter handle @RanveerOfficial. The end of the film reveals Ranveer and Xiaomi's association as Manu Jain, MD of Xiaomi India, calls Ranveer and the two confirm the alliance.
?ﾟﾔﾛ?ﾟﾔﾛ? LIKE DONKEY KONG, HOMIE!!! LET'S DO THIS!!! ✊?ﾟﾒﾥ https://t.co/6VhB3598T1— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) February 25, 2019
Explaining why Xioami India chose Ranveer as the new face of the brand, Anuj Sharma, chief marketing officer, Xiaomi India, says, "Having established itself as the brand that is known to disrupt the industry it pursues, it was only apt to consider a brand endorser who would resonate with Xiaomi's strong tide of an unconventional, disruptive approach. Therefore, the brand partnered with Ranveer Singh to promote the brand's upcoming smartphones."
While the teaser was launched last week, the complete web film was released on February 24 across Xiaomi channels, including social media, YouTube and OTT platforms - VOOT and SonyLiv, as well as two days of advertising on TikTok. The film was conceptualised and executed by Xiaomi India's brand marketing team led by Karan Shroff.
Ranveer's association with Xiaomi does not mean that he is endorsing a particular product; he has joined the Xiaomi family as the chief disruptive officer. He will use the Redmi Note 7, which is set to launch on February 28. Throughout the excitement in the web film, viewers can also spot seven different Xiaomi items such as Mi Luggage, Mi Air Purifier, and a Mi Soundbar, cleverly depicting the number 7 that aligns with the new Redmi Note 7. These products also highlight the versatile portfolio that Xiaomi, as a brand, entails by primarily being an internet company.
Being a challenger brand
As per a recent Canalys report, India accounted for over 10 per cent growth in its smartphone market globally. While according to the recent IDC Quarterly report for Q4 2018, the Indian smartphone market saw a healthy growth of 14.5 per cent year-on-year (YoY) as compared to 2017.
Xiaomi India began operating in 2014 and became the top brand in its segment, beating Samsung in the last quarter of 2017. Since then, Samsung is leaving no stone unturned to regain its lost crown. In fact, to tackle the rising competition, the Korean tech giant announced the launch of the Galaxy M and Galaxy A series. Also, the Indian smartphone market has some strong players like Motorola, Oppo, Vivo, Nokia, and, of course, Apple. Taking the competition head-on, Xiaomi India has dominated the Indian smartphone market for six quarters in a row with a current market share of 29 per cent (IDC Quarterly report), with a shipment of 10.5 million units.
"Given the general Indian population, most of Xiaomi India's target audience would be millennials who tend to be tech enthusiasts too. However, it is important to note that the majority of this Indian consumer segment is still heavily offline-based. Therefore, it is essential to connect with these consumers through marketing channels that serve offline modes and gain important brand visibility," says Sharma.
As of today, Xiaomi is open to exploring all sorts of mediums that help the brand connect with audiences effectively.
A box office hit?
We asked the experts if by roping in Ranveer Singh, will the brand succeed in creating a mass appeal and inspire consumers to buy the Redmi Note 7?
Ronita Mitra, former senior vice-president and head of brand, media, digital and consumer insights at Vodafone, who recently launched a strategic marketing consultancy firm, Brand Eagle, feels that appointing Ranveer Singh is a smart choice and it will play a role in the new launch's success, given the actor's popularity with this segment. She believes that Ranveer will get the brand a lot of "relate-ability" along with an aspirational value.
She says, "Ranveer Singh has done the ad full justice with his signature energy and dance style. However, the messaging in the TVC is not clear - is it trying to establish music and sound credentials, while all phones talk about cameras and selfies? What needs to be seen is if a "music video" like Ranveer Singh's ad will be able to sustain interest without any clear messaging? Will it generate any tangible preference towards the product and make the consumer want to reach out to the product in a highly competitive smartphone market?"
According to Ranjeet Kumar, creative director at Isobar, Xiaomi India is a brave brand. According to him, it has built great brand equity on the back of awesome value for money products and a wide after-sales ecosystem. He states that they are already leading the pack if we take certain parameters into consideration.
Kumar says, "The work is well-made compared to typical Bollywood star-driven campaigns. The content of the teaser video is intriguing and eggs me on for the reveal. From a messaging point of view, one campaign would not be enough. Consistency with the narrative, coupled with frequency at scale will be the key. Only time will tell if Xiaomi India is able to create brand love that was enjoyed by the likes of Oneplus and Micromax in the past."
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