Smartphone Launches: Confusing Copycats
We all love to copy. And we also love to remain and tread on the safe path, and not take risks. Nothing illustrates this better than Bollywood or our TV serials. The moment one movie or one serial clicks, everyone starts emulating the same formula and repeat the same story or plotline with mere cosmetic changes in names or scenarios. The output be damned. Seems we seriously lack in creativity and are bereft of ideas or more seriously risk taking mindsets to create something new and fresh. While there is value for time tested formula in certain domains, in creative spaces the lack of original ideas indicate a serious shortcoming amongst most Indians who would love to call themselves ‘creative’.
Looks like the scenario is the same with the marketers and PR agencies who plan smartphone launches. In recent weeks, I have attended a number of phone launches from vendors like Oppo, Vivo, Honor, Motorola, Asus and the likes. And it’s really difficult for me to differentiate one from the other in terms of texture and shape and size of the event.
The first and foremost thing that really surprises me (I would say I am really flabbergasted) is the over use of popular TV tech anchor Rajiv Makhni to endorse all these brands. There was one Oppo launch where Makhni was the star of the show and extolled about the various virtues of the Oppo handset being launched. Though even these sounded going highly overboard, I have no problem with vendors using Makhni as a brand ambassador instead of spending big bucks on some celebrities. In fact, he is able to explain the features much better.
My problem starts when Makhni is all gaga about the Oppo handset and praises it to the sky that it is the best phone available in the market. And the very next day there is a Vivo smartphone launch and whom do we see there? The very same Rajiv Makhni. And he is again extolling the virtues of this Vivo phone in comparison to other brands available in the market. Now I am confused. I believe in Makhni; but he is now saying Oppo is the best one day and next day says Vivo is the best. And after two days I attend a Honor launch and who else is again endorsing this phone as the best. It is again our friendly neighborhood reviewer Rajiv Makhni.
Makhni might be enhancing his brand value as a reviewer, but isn’t he seriously losing his credibility at the same time? And what about the brands themselves? What brand equity will they carry when their products are endorsed by the same person, and that too in a short span of time. While endorsement by celebrities might be impotent, even this form of advertising or PR, or whatever else you may call, is absolutely ridiculous and confusing..
Not just Makhni, the entire content of these launches have become the same drab monotonous affair. That same specifications, that similar Photoshopped pictures extolling the cameras and finally the same drama used to reveal the pricing. If our marketers cannot think of anything else to come out of this straitjacket, it’s indeed sad days ahead for smartphone vendors.
There was one Oppo launch where Makhni was the star of the show and extolled about the various virtues of Oppo handset being launched.
Rajneesh De, Group Editor email@example.com