Lenovo picks IPL playoffs to address mobile phone 'doers'

WATCH the ad film created by Ogilvy; Lenovo’s Shailendra Katyal: ‘Cricket is what the nation lives and dies by and I don’t see viewership going down’

May 22, 2013 02:53:00 PM | Video | Campaign India Team

Lenovo has rolled out the launch campaign for its range of smart phones. The company launched its range in November 2012, but waited till the playoff stage of the IPL to launch its television campaign.

The campaign created by Ogilvy Mumbai plays on the use of hands – in painting, boxing, riding a bike, playing a guitar, dancing, skydiving, and using mobile phones. The film ends with a super than introduces Lenovo’s range of smart phones.

On the film, Rajiv Rao, national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, said, “The idea used in the film is that of ‘hands’. Everything is done using the hands. Those hands will be now using Lenovo’s smart phones. Whether it’s playing music, painting or dancing, it’s all done with the help of hands. That’s what we are portraying through the film.”

The film went on air on 21 May, during the playoff game between the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

Campaign India spoke with Shailendra Katyal, director - consumer business, Lenovo India, to learn more about the TVC and understand the brand’s media plan.

What’s the reason behind launching the campaign during the playoffs and not earlier?

We launched our smart phone business in November. We knew that the IPL playoffs get the highest viewership and so we decided to go with it. We could have released the campaign about 10 days ago but waited for the playoffs. Prior to this campaign, we’ve had some tactical advertising going on.

Does the controversy surrounding the IPL make any difference to the media plan?

No. I don’t think the viewership will go down. As a country we are overreacting to betting in sports. Betting in other countries is legal. Only India has an unfavourable view to this and it’s the only reason for it to go underground. Prohibition has never worked. If you look at the liquor market in the US, it just created a mafia and bootlegging as an industry. Across the world, whether it is performance enhancing drugs or match fixing, it’s across all sports.

Fixing is illegal and I’m sure the relevant authorities (BCCI and IPL) will take appropriate action.
Fundamentally, this sport is what the nation lives and dies by and I don’t see viewership going down. It’s not a new thing, and a few rotten apples don’t change the nature of the sport. It’s like saying if a musician goes and commits a murder, we should stop listening to music.

Lenovo endorses the sport and not the illegal activities that have happened.

What was the brief given to the agency?

The context was that we’re launching in a fairy competitive environment. We are one of the seven to eight players who now operate in the Indian landscape. We wanted to create a differentiation about Lenovo as a brand. So it comes from the spirit that differentiates Lenovo as a brand rather than get into individual specs. We are very confident about our product range and believe that we have the best portfolio at the best possible price. But, the first round of the campaign only states what the brand is. So that’s where the brief came from – we’re a brand for ‘doers’ and finally we are launching a range of phones for doers.

We also wanted to establish that we have a full range of products focusing on the youth. What Ogilvy came up with was this idea which is a product truth as well, that phones are operated with the hands. The insight they came up with was that the hands of the doers will be different from the hands of a normal person. Hence we’ve showcased people with different passions.

What’s the TG for the phone?

The portrayal in the creative is for the 18 to 24 year-olds, while our media plans are for 18 to 30 year-olds. Our range of products are wide. We’ve got our phones in the sub-Rs 10,000 category as well as our K900 that is one of the world’s best Intel-powered phones at a high price point, for the professional.

Besides the TVC, what else is planned?

Everything else will follow. We’re launching with the TV campaign on the IPL. The film will also run for three to four weeks on other TV channels. Print, retail and digital will also come in. It’s also getting into the college season as they open in June and July. So we’ll have activations at key retail points. People who are entering college want that independence.