Q] How different will the messaging be for Vivo this Diwali?
We were cognizant of the fact that this Diwali is very different from all the previous Diwalis and thus wanted the communication to be contextual, keeping in mind the challenges of today. So our ad shows the father getting pressurised by his manager. That seals the backdrop and from there, we took it forward.
Q] What is the marketing mix for this campaign?
The media mix is primarily going to be Digital. This is a long format film and there are two aspects to this Diwali campaign. The first aspect of course, is the film and the second equally important aspect is the engagement bit where we are inviting our consumers to share their ‘Smile Wala Diya’ stories.
We have lucky draws with more than 100 prizes to be given away. So we have good messaging, coupled with an engagement contest, and finally gratification for winners.
Q] A few months ago, Vivo pulled back from IPL sponsorship for this year. How did that impact the brand?
IPL is a property that we are very proud to associate with, and it has delivered very well for us in the past several years. We really look forward to every IPL, so this year was no different but of course situations were not the most conducive, and therefore we thought it is better that we give it a break this year.
Therefore with the BCCI, this was a mutual decision but going forward, we will see that Vivo is back as the title sponsor. This year, we thus restricted ourselves to a few spots on TV during IPL, and that was the extent of our advertising this year.
Q] You pulled out of IPL because of the anti-Chinese sentiments. Has that subsided and is it business as usual for you?
The kind of sentiment that was prevailing has certainly changed now, specifically if we talk about brand Vivo. People today understand that Vivo is a global brand, yet a brand that is deeply rooted in India, be it in manufacturing or job creation.
They understand it’s a global innovation brand, with a focus on its commitment to India. Therefore for us it wasn’t very bad earlier or even now for that matter. Consumers like Vivo for what it has been offering them – that love and respect continues even now.
Q] So, you’re basically saying that Vivo should not be looked upon as a Chinese brand in India?
That’s what the consumers say. They do a lot of research around what they are buying and Vivo as a brand is spread across more than 30 countries globally. So, when you look at all those credentials, you understand you’re buying an ‘international’ brand.
Of course, the roots are in China, there is no doubt about it. But it’s as international as any other brand can be, and I think that’s how consumers perceive Vivo.
Q] How has the year 2020 been for you as far as sales are concerned?
During the first phase of lockdown, everything was down whether it was e-commerce sales or offline sales, including those for smartphones. However, when the economy started opening up and deliveries started, the situation certainly became better and the smartphone industry has been among the quicker ones to recover because the smartphone in fact has been our most dependable companion during this whole lockdown period. It became more of a necessity and hence smartphone sales recovered fairly fast. And we are seeing that trend even now.
Q] But would you say it has gone back to the pre pandemic levels? Or has it shot up further?
Overall it has gone up. The Diwali week is critical for festive sales. But so far we are seeing a 25% increase in festival sales over last year as far as the Dussehra period is concerned. Therefore it looks like that this festive season should be okay. Things are moving in the right direction.
Q] Does that mean along with your sales, your marketing spends have also gone up in the festive season compared to what they were last year?
Compared to last year, I can’t really say but our philosophy, our strategy, and therefore our actions have been very clear. Whatever marketing support is required, whether it’s ATL, BTL, digital or OOH, that has to be given because it is the requirement of the business.
We launched two products recently-- the V20 and V20 SE. For both, we have had a TV campaign starting with the IPL, OOH, BTL, etc. around it. So, it has been a full 360 degree campaign, and the results have been also stupendous. So, V20 has clocked the highest ever pre-booking that we have seen for any V series model. And V series models in the past also have been the industry leaders.