Gaurav Kackar, Head of Brand Marketing, Micromax, and Shyondeep Pal, ECD, Lowe Lintas, speak about the brand’s association with Akshay Kumar’s ‘Singh is Bling’
Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | September 30, 2015
Over the past decade, Micromax has pioneered the democratisation of technology in India by offering affordable innovations through their product offerings and removing barriers for large scale adoption of advanced technologies. Micromax is currently the second largest smartphone company in India and is a brand which is close to the heart of the youth, celebrating the vibrancy of life and empowerment.
In its bid to connect with the youth, Micromax has joined hands with actor Akshay Kumar, which whom the brand has had a long term association, for his upcoming film ‘Singh is Bling’.
The brand has developed a music video that features Akshay in his ‘Singh’ avatar from the movie, along with rapper Badshah. The rap juxtaposes the qualities of ‘Singhs’ with the features of Micromax Bolt Q335 and sets it up as an awesome partnership. The music video captures both the celebs and makes for an entertaining viewing experience. The TVC is already on air and the music video is available on digital platforms. The campaign has also been extended to retail POS.
Gaurav Kackar, Head of Brand Marketing, Micromax, and Shyondeep Pal, ECD, Lowe Lintas, throw more light on the campaign, Micromax’s brand journey and more.
The brief given to the agency was simple and to the point – design an impactful integration that reinforces the qualities of the brand and products, but the caveat was that connect to the main character and the storyline had to be very strong. “As a brand, it is our strong belief that music and youth are inseparable and the result of that is Akshay Kumar, Badshah and Micromax together bringing this epic rap song for their fans, which is already going viral across platforms,” Kackar said. He added that the brand wanted to be big on the creative idea rather than rely on spends.
The media mix
This is a TV and digital led campaign. The full length video is visible across music channels and digital platforms, while a shorter edit on TV is building frequency for the brand. On TV, the commercial is being aired on GEC, music and news platforms. Then there are points of sale that are aimed to help build recall at the last mile.
Commenting on the latest campaign, Shayondeep Pal, ECD, Lowe Lintas, said, “We pitched the phone as one that had qualities similar to that of the courage and grit of the Sikh community. Hence, ‘Phone Ka Sardar’. It is a simple entertaining message that juxtaposes the benefits of the phone with the characteristics of this most beloved community.”
Speaking on the challenges while shooting the campaign, Pal said, “Three things had to be spot on – the lyrics, the music and of course, the messaging. What we said about Micromax was critical because we had to tread the fine line between masti (fun) and messaging. We couldn’t have done a brand speak. We had to be subtle. So it was kind of tricky, but thankfully it turned out fine.”
The mobile phone category is one of the most robust and growing ones across countries, especially in India. Micromax has come a long way and when asked about how the response had been, Kackar replied, “It’s been an interesting journey and while the competition has been heating up, at Micromax we have remained true to our roots and core philosophy of democratising technology. Our constant endeavour to disrupt the market with innovations like Canvas Sliver and Micromax Unite series has kept us ahead of the curve.”
With sales presence across India and global presence in Russia and the SAARC markets, the Indian brand is reaching out to global buyers with innovative products that challenge the status quo that innovation comes with a price.
Campaigns then and now
Micromax has had quite a few innovative campaigns over the years. Kackar said, “All of our campaigns have been crafted keeping in mind what our consumers/ audiences expect from a brand like Micromax. Some of the campaigns which reaped fantastic results for us in the recent past are Canvas Sliver 5 (featuring Hugh Jackman) and the Unite 3 campaign.”
While there is a lot of shift happening in the industry when it comes to viewership patterns and how consumers are accepting new mediums, brands continue to allocate huge spends to television. Commenting on this, Kackar said, “While there are clear signs of change in the viewership patterns from TV to digital, that is still largely a very urban phenomenon. At Micromax, we have always been extremely cautious of who our target audience is going to be for each of our campaigns and the media mix is finalised accordingly. TV is an important medium as it offers the chance to reach mass audiences, because watching TV is still the single biggest leisure activity in our country.”
Micromax is now going beyond just the devices and building a connected devices and services eco-system by amalgamation of unique and innovative technologies from around the world to their consumers. “We continue to explore new geographies while consolidating our presence in India, Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. We will continue to delight our consumers with products and services that become an integral part of their life,” Kackar concluded.