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Damyant Singh Khanoria on OPPO’s festive season strategy

After a muted festive season last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the willingness to spend is higher. As per a ZestMoney Survey, 72% of Indians plan to splurge on electronics & gadgets, while 59% prefer BNPL to fund festive purchases. 62% of the respondents revealed that festive budgets have gone up compared to last year. A recent market research by YouGov gives a big boost to the Diwali Expense Index, which is generally indicative of Q3 sales growth in India.

The Indian festive season is a crucial time as consumer demand is at its peak with many planning several small and big-ticket purchases. With increased vaccination and the general opening of the economy, the survey has witnessed a positive sentiment around budgets and shopping at physical stores, even as online shopping continues to be popular among people.

As part of Adgully’s Festive Mood series, we have been covering the market, brand and consumer sentiments during the festive season this year. In conversation with Adgully, Damyant Singh Khanoria, Chief Marketing Officer, OPPO India, speaks about how the brand is leveraging the festive season this year, campaign strategy, smartphone buying trends, and more.

How bullish are the mobile brands this year compared to 2020?

According to a recent report by Counterpoint Research, smartphone shipments are estimated to reach 173 million in 2021, a ~14% increase from the 2020 figure. Backed by an improved economic environment, the demand for smartphones in 2021 will be driven by elevated consumer spending. Our outlook for 2021 remains positive for the Indian smartphones industry. Post pandemic, we have observed a rise in online sales, which we expect to grow every year from 2022 onward, driven by improved digital infrastructure and surging internet usage. This year, the festive season should see some strong traction due to schemes, bank tie-ups and discounts offered by e-commerce giants.

The demand for smartphones was not limited to any specific segment. From our top end smartphones – such as OPPO Reno series, mid-range phones like the F-series, and our A series that straddles the entry to mid-range segment–all have witnessed overwhelming response from the Indian consumers.

What kind of campaigns have you planned for the festive season? Which medium are you using more for the promotions?

The year gone by was challenging for everyone. It has made us more empathetic and thoughtful about who we are and what we hold dear. We wanted to urge people to spread joy, cheer and optimism this festive season. Keeping this in mind we came up with our Diwali campaign #LightUpTheNewBeginnings. We welcomed the festive season with special edition launches of OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G Diwali Edition, OPPO F19s Festive Edition and OPPO Enco Buds Blue during a first-of-its-kind quirky #AskOPPO show hosted by comedian Rahul Subramanian.

With Diwali right around the corner, we have also launched a heart-touching film, sending out a message of hope and positivity with a voiceover featuring lyrics from the young Indian spoken poet Megha Rao, translated into Hindi by poet Rakesh Tiwari. The #LightUpTheNewBeginnings Diwali campaign would also be amplified across social platforms giving users the chance to create and design their own stories. It will feature stories from high-profile influencers such as Shradha Kapoor, Shruti Hassan and Darshan Raval. Further, many talented micro-influencers from the worlds of fashion, photography, music and art will also share their personal stories of hope.

With our #LightUpTheGame activity during this T20 World Cup, cricket fans will get a golden opportunity to grab match tickets, get clicked with the Trophy at the stadium and showcase their special video messages.

Campaign video

OPPO x ICC Men's T20 World Cup | Light Up the Game Ft. KaamBhaari

How are mobile brands leveraging their digital & offline strategies?

A successful campaign is the one that reaches out to the audience, connects with them emotionally and ensures it touches their hearts. Nowadays, the success of any marketing campaign is defined by its mix of digital and offline strategy. As a brand, we have tried to ensure that we are visible across the board to reach to out customers and, therefore, have created campaigns that are tailor-made for each of our products.

What kind of trends are observed this year in the consumers?

As a company, we want to use and leverage the technology that is in our product to enrich peoples’ lives. ICC T20 World Cup and Diwali are going to be tentpole events for us. A big marketing trend will be that brands would want to create a culture once again. We, as OPPO, want our consumers to start doing instead of just watching and we hope that we become a catalyst for our consumers as they go back to their normal lives. I think when we look back, there has been a lot of learning for us, especially in managing launches remotely and we have come out with flying colours.

What price range are consumers going with in the urban/ rural market?

India is a market like none other and devices in all price brands are equally welcomed by customers. The primary drivers of purchase of smartphones in India are essentially three – the biggest driver of purchase is the camera: if you walk into a store, that’s the first thing consumers do. They pick up the phone, they’d go to the camera, and they’d start shooting pictures at the store.

The second one is around performance: is the phone fast enough for what I need it for? Our needs and expectations on what performance really means differs, but performance is a significant driver of purchase as well.

The third one is the durability. Over the course of our life, I think we spend a significant amount of money on buying smartphones – this Indian notion of value for money. To just make it simple on what drives purchase and impacts the price range in India is camera, performance and durability.


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