Saturday, November 23, 2013

Micromax and X-Men ( Hugh Jackman ) Coming Together

Hugh Jackman in Micromax Ad

I was stormed to see Micromax Canvas Turbo ad with Jackman in it and was thinking for a long time that it is a good marketing case to explore and analyze.

Micromax, which started as an IT company in 2000 has come a long way as far as mobiles are concerned. It is already no. 2 in terms of volumes in India and already growing at a rate of 50% every year. As far as consumer perception is concerned, it is still consider in the cheap segment with good durability, however perception is changing pretty fast. Even in ad if you notice, Micromax team has done a great job in making it a global Ad. Remove micromax logo and can easily take this ad as a new ad for Samsung. So one thing is clear that Micromax wants to shed off its cheap image- "Something that is Chinese "

In the words of Sharma- Cofounder of Micromax, the idea is to " what we want to be is a Zara or a Mango, which are high-street brands, are cool and stylish, but amazing value for money,”

Why Hugh Jackman in Micromax Ad?
  •  It can offer a global image which is currently lacking in the brand. It can impact positively for other categories- Tablets, LCD Screen etc. The idea is to change the perception of people who don't use Micromax because they are brand conscious.
  •  Good Exposure in markets like Russia and Baltic Countries, where Micromax has its plans to launch its products after Nepal, Bangladesh, UAE and Srilanka. Change the language and same ad can be used in different markets.
  • In a country like India, where every other ad features a Cricket or a Bollywood star, it is a good strategy to cut through marketing clutter. If we look at the prices paid to Indian star, it seems of for cost benefit anlaysis if Hugh Jackman is paid under $10mil for brand ambassador given his international image and huge following in sub continent. Shahrukh Khan who is known well only in India commanded 3m$ for Decor Ad.


1. Consumer Segment in India where Micromax has already established itself may not recognize or relate with Hugh Jackman. Miromax is a brand in India which relates with aspirational phone users- A segment, which is not catered by likes of Nokia, Samsung because of pricing and distribution constraints.
2. Strategy will work in local and global markets only if Micromax can match the image with strong product portfolio and disruptive innovation in terms of cost and features.
3. Brand Confusion- Micromax has already got Akshay kumar as a brand ambassador, who resonates well with majority of consumers. It would be challenging to project Hugh Jackman for the same brand until some new identity/name is carved out- For instance Lexus, Vertu in case of Toyota and Nokia
4. Appointing the Hollywood star answers the need for Micromax to build an international image especially in Russia where Micromax will be launched in December. Whether Jackman will be able to impress Russian consumers is another question.

Now the real game lies in execution and leverage of marketing created by this fearless step by Micromax. A similar kind of strategy was adopted by S kumar in the late 90s by roping in James Bond- Pierce Brosnan after acquiring an international brand which didn't turn out very well. If Micromax could support Marketing by Product innovation and Product portfolio, sunny days surely lie head for Indian grown brand.

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