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Acer aims to be a leading voice in keeping sustainability at the core: Sooraj Balakrishnan

Acer aims to be a leading voice in keeping suitability at the core: Sooraj Balakrishnan
Acer aims to be a leading voice in keeping suitability at the core: Sooraj Balakrishnan

Acer recently celebrated Acer Day, the brand’s annual sale focused on the message sustainability. This year’s campaign, ‘Make Your Green Mark’ recognises heroes like Pankti Pandey, a zero-waste advocate and a TEDx Speaker, among several other global personalities.

In an exclusive conversation with Adgully, Sooraj Balakrishnan, Head - Marketing, Acer India, speaks at length about their campaign to push for sustainability, Acer’s performance during H1 2022, ambitious plans for gaming, and much more.

What does the ‘Make Your Green Mark’ campaign stand for?

‘Make your Green Mark’ is Acer’s effort to instill a culture of sustainability. We are encouraging every user to make their green mark by being environmentally conscious by practicing the 3-Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – in their day-to-day lives. This will be a conscious choice when it comes to being a consumer.

The sustainable efforts by Acer, the Earthion platform, combine the strengths of the company, its supply chain partners, employees, and consumers (channels) to confront environmental challenges with advanced solutions. To date, Acer, including its global operations and businesses, has effectively achieved its 2020 target of reducing its carbon emissions by 60% worldwide.

Acer Day is the founding day, and we think there is no better time and occasion to tell the world and customers what we stand for and the change we want to bring to people’s lives, especially for our future generations.

Why is sustainability important for Acer? What are the other initiatives that Acer has taken?

It is every company’s responsibility to be sustainable, and Acer being a global technology brand that reaches a larger consumer and commercial audience, aims to practice and spread the word of sustainability and encourage others to follow the same. For example, recycling e-waste, buying products that are sustainable, and reuse products instead of discarding them after a single use. We aim to be a leading voice in the tech industry to make suitability the core of everything we do.

As a member of RE100, Acer is now planning to source renewable energy for all of its energy use by 2035.

Acer works with a clear purpose in mind to address some of the causes that are important to humanity and push for sustainable practices across our portfolio. From the materials in our products and packaging to the strength and integrity of our supply chain, Acer designs devices with the entire lifecycle in mind. Environmental sustainability is a subject that affects us all, as providers in the technological space and we must bring ourselves one step nearer to this mission. Acer’s sustainability efforts have made us an industry leader in the way we sustain and protect the planet.

We launched our line-up of green PCs and products that are better for our environment while maintaining high-performance standards, the new Aspire Vero Series. It is our green program to make eco-friendly products that are accountable to nature. More than just a chic computer it is a definite expression of Acer’s commitment to more sustainable operations. From personal computers to peripherals, Vero devices share green strategies, such as developing post-consumer recycled plastic and transporting it in recyclable packaging. As sustainability concerns not only how a product is made but what becomes of it, Acer’s Vero products have also been devised to be easy to disassemble, simplifying the process of repairs or upgrades and eventually increasing the devices’ life expectancy.

How is ‘Make Your Green Mark’ different from other campaigns you have done?

‘Make Your Green Mark’ is all about sustainability. With this campaign, we aim to promote the holistic philosophy of the brand, which is to encourage each other to be more responsible and sustainable by making a green impact on the earth in the smallest way possible. Acer as part of the initiative has taken an oath to plant a tree every time a Vero laptop is being purchased.

The ‘Acer Vero Hero’ is a platform created to acknowledge and appreciate such people. It showcases the efforts of real-life heroes who put an effort into making the earth a greener place for our future generations to come. Also, as part of the global initiative ‘Earthion’, Acer India partnered with celebrity plogman Ripu Daman in May 2022 to host Acer Vero Ploggathon. This unique event had participants come together to pick up litter and plastic while doing their morning jog and walk along with fun activities.

Could you share the thoughts behind the campaign? Who was the agency involved and was the campaign brief shared with the agency?

As mentioned, this campaign took shape with the single idea of raising awareness among people and encouraging everyone to lead a sustainable, responsible, and environmentally friendly life.

A few years before, the campaign was called ‘Make Your Mark’, where the idea was to support the creativity of young people and inspire them to leave an impression on the world. With the raising concerns of climate change, as Acer caters to a huge audience, it is our responsibility to do our part and make the earth a better place.

How did you zero in on Pankti Pandey for the campaign?

Pankti Pandey is an ISRO scientist by profession and a digital influencer who advocates for zero waste. When we had to choose an ambassador, we looked at someone whose thoughts aligned with our philosophy. She practices zero wastage and has been acknowledged for her contribution toward sustainability. She influences people to do their best toward sustainability through her practice and her content. This moved us to choose her as our ambassador from India.

How are you leveraging digital as a part of your marketing mix for the campaign?

Our marketing for the Acer Day campaign is largely on the digital platform. Social media, digital partners, influencers, and major video platforms are our major pillars for this initiative. Pankti has been driving the message through her digital platforms. We also tied up with Amazon where Acer Day’s message was consistently being promoted.

‘Make Your Green Mark’ is also a digital-led global campaign by Acer, which brings together ambassadors from seven regions through a manifesto video.

How did H1 2022 pan out for Acer?

H1 was extremely good for Acer. Even with a slowdown in the economy, we were able to break our revenue record in Q1 and this is a first in the history of Acer India. We have a lot to look forward to in the second half of the year like the Acer Day and Predator Gaming League, and with the festive season nearing, we are hoping H2 would be bigger than H1.

What are the other campaigns which are in the pipeline?

The next big campaign that started in August was the Predator Gaming League 2022, which is our flagship property. It is our commitment to supporting the gaming industry in the Asia Pacific region. Predator is our line-up of gaming laptops and accessories that offers the latest technology made specially to enhance the gaming experience. The tournament includes more than 10 countries bringing together top talent in gaming. This year, the national-level tournament was held from August 12 to September 4 in Bangalore and the winners from India will travel to Japan to compete in the $400,000 prize pool Asia Pacific Grand Finale.

We are also looking forward to our regional campaigns like Onam and Diwali.

Laptops is a market that garnered huge popularity during the pandemic period, how has the growth graph in terms of revenue been for Acer?

The laptop market has been a driver for the electronics industry during the pandemic. Surely, there is a flattening of the market, and it was expected considering the exceptional demand for laptops in the last two years. However, we were able to beat our revenue figures compared to the pandemic period and are at healthy growth. Acer as a company, is looking forward and hopeful for the rest of 2022.

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