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Selfies, superstars, and sports – How OPPO found a match made in heaven

The leading camera phone brand has cemented its position with the youth by focusing on the country’s favourite obsession – sports.

brand stories Updated: Jun 22, 2018 20:58 IST
OPPO,cricket,Rohit sharma
Since its entry in India, OPPO has consistently engaged with the youth not just through a slew of innovative, high-performance products but also by associating with the country’s foremost obsessions – movies and sports. (OPPO)

How do you tap into the spirit of the youth in a country as diverse as India? And how do you ensure that your audience not just takes to your products but also considers your brand a part of their lives?

Seasoned marketers will tell you that the answer is often quite basic: find what drives your consumers and become a part of it. And no recent brand in the last few years has lived up to this maxim like smartphone manufacturers OPPO. Since its entry in India in 2014, OPPO has consistently and firmly engaged with its core target – the youth – not just through a slew of innovative, high-performance products but also by associating with the country’s foremost obsessions – movies and sports.

The selfie game

The brand launched its India chapter with a series of well-established Bollywood stars at the helm of their campaigns. From Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor to Siddharth Malhotra and Deepika Padukone, OPPO’s chosen ambassadors have consistently and firmly resonated with the brand’s powerful, high-energy, and innovative range of smartphones.

OPPO’s chosen ambassadors have consistently and firmly resonated with the brand’s powerful, high-energy, and innovative range of smartphones. (OPPO)

What also worked really well for OPPO in India is their unflinching commitment to this generation’s top fascination – the selfie. As Indian millennials slowly but surely adopted this phenomena as a form of self-expression, OPPO too continued its camera-led innovations, launching products that gave the youth unmatched ways to capture and share their lives. From the N-series smartphone with the world’s first rotating camera to the F1 Selfie Expert range, OPPO has consistently celebrated cellphone photography as an art form synonymous with the youth.

Watched by billions

Building a great product that understands the trends of its times is undoubtedly the mainstay of a successful brand. However, it’s equally important to get your message out to as many people as possible. OPPO’s masterstroke in India was to identify that one all-time national preoccupation which would stand the test of time and passing trends. The answer was, quite obviously, cricket.

Over the past few years, OPPO has relentlessly partnered with leading cricketing events and championships, both at home and abroad. Back in September 2014, the brand took on title sponsorship of the extremely popular T20 Champion’s League. A year later, in 2015, OPPO announced its 4-year global partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) just before the T20 World Cup.

Besides direct sponsorships, the brand’s marketing efforts have always tried to unite its consumers with the spirit of the game. Its “Selfie Expert OPPO F1 Cheer for India” Campaign in 2016, planned to capture the cricket frenzy in India as it began the year’s cricket season. On an allied note, the brand was also part of the ICC- UNICEF’s Swachh Clinics initiative where underprivileged kids got a chance to click selfies with the ICC World Twenty20 2016 Trophy.

In April 2017, OPPO made its biggest move yet as the official sponsors of the Indian national cricket team in association with BCCI. (OPPO)

Leaders of their game

In April 2017, OPPO made its biggest move yet as the official sponsors of the Indian national cricket team in association with BCCI. This five-year partnership ensures that the brand will be on top and visible on the National Men’s, Women’s, Under-19 and India A teams’ kits during home and international matches. For a company that epitomizes the passion and power of the youth, there can be no better association than with a sport watched, loved, and followed by billions.

Earlier this year, OPPO celebrated its association with the sport through the OPPO F7 Cricket Limited Edition. Dedicated to the gentleman’s game, the phone was launched by R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma. The 128 GB top-of-the-line variant flaunts a unique body that shimmers like gemstones, reflecting different colours with each glance. Designed with a multi-layered metallic and glass back-cover that replicates a diamond-like glow, the limited-edition OPPO F7 truly represents a smartphone, where style and performance blends in effortlessly.

What’s interesting about the brand, however, is not just its partnership with high-profile, international cricket, but also an actual attempt to understand the sport’s social impact and empower its future stars. Earlier this year, OPPO partnered with India’s leading cricket training academy, PAYYADE Cricket Club to facilitate scholarships for 20 underprivileged kids and hone their skills on the field.

Neymar has previously joined hands with OPPO while endorsing the brand’s FC Barcelona edition smartphone. (OPPO)

Watch this space

So, what’s next for OPPO in India? While intending to continue its successful associations with the nation’s favourite sport, the smartphone brand also has a few surprises up its sleeve. Very recently, it signed up Brazilian footballer, Neymar as an OPPO friend. The 26-year-old player will be promoting a range of products during the upcoming football tournament. Neymar has previously joined hands with OPPO while endorsing the brand’s FC Barcelona edition smartphone.

As football fever builds up among the country’s youth this month, OPPO has clearly remained a step ahead. Here’s looking at even bigger triumphs in the coming years.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 12:45 IST