India is a country where the religion is cricket and the only ‘ma’ (mother in Hindi) everyone recognizes is Cinema. So it comes as no surprise, that Smartphones OEMs, trying to grab a section of the Indian market; have decided to rope in various Bollywood stars and Cricket legends to help their products gain more visibility.
While it’s certain that the likes of Hugh Jackman, Hrithik Roshan command legions of movie buffs, it remains to be seen that in a country like India, where Brand loyalty is non-existent; if these big names can influence big numbers for on the sales sheets of the companies they endorse.
The scenario remains pretty much the same for legends of the game like the Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar or our beloved Mahi, M.S. Dhoni. While their prowess on the field and fan support have never been in question, their ability to sell smartphones still makes us skeptical.
And that’s precisely why today we are going to look at a few Smartphone OEMs and their brand ambassadors and try to decipher if the millions of rupees spent in endorsement fees have been able to reap any reward for the companies in the long run.
#1. Sony: Brand Ambassador- Katrina Kaif
One of the hottest ladies of Bollywood Katrina Kaif endorses the Sony lineup of smartphones TVs. However, her sultry look failed to convince the people of this sultry nation to go all in for the expensive Sony devices and as a result, the company has been planning to move out of the budget and midrange segment.
#2. Oppo: Brand Ambassador- Hrithik Roshan, Sonam Kapoor
Ever since the days of Oppo N1 to the recent Oppo F1 Selfie smartphone, Hrithik Roshan, and Sonam Kapoor has been sizzling the screens for Oppo phones. On the balance sheet, though, Oppo has failed to make any significant headway into the Indian market.
#3. Vivo X5: Brand Ambassador- Anushka Sharma
Much like her breakup with Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma’s smartphone endorsement the Vivo X5 turned out to be one giant joke as the exorbitantly priced phone was met with poor reviews and even worse sales numbers nationwide.
#4. Lava: Brand Ambassador- M.S. Dhoni
One of the most influential players to have ever played Indian Cricket, MS Dhoni, will look to be the one unique facet for this Indian company that is struggling to retain market share in the face of stiff competition from Chinese OEMs.
#5. Smartron: Brand Ambassador- Sachin Tendulkar
An Indian company that has been taking baby steps in the cut-throat Indian smartphone industry, their brand ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar might be the only reason that Smartron has grabbed a few eyeballs of late.
#6. Micromax: Brand Ambassador- Hugh Jackman
Interestingly enough, while most OEMs choose to go with Indian celebrities, the biggest Indian company in terms of market share in the smartphone space, chose to go with Hollywood star Hugh Jackman. One of the most prominent brand ambassadors, Jackman has featured in several ad campaigns for Micromax mostly to positive if sometimes cringy reviews.
So, where does this leave us in terms of financial success for these companies? While Micromax has held onto their claim as one of the top two companies in India, it would be foolish to attribute it to the selling power of Hugh Jackman.
Rather as has been proven by companies like Xiaomi and Le Eco, having a great product at a reasonable price is all it takes to sell smartphones in India, sans celebrities of course!