Stumped by OPPO

I watched a cricket match in its entirety last night (India vs. Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Kolkata) after perhaps the last ICC One-Day Cricket World Cup. Usually, it is only on such occasions that I tend to catch up on all the television ad fare because the commercial breaks are far too short to wander away from the TV set.

Net result? I viewed the OPPO Selfie Expert F1 television commercial ad nauseam (pun unintended but apt here). On an aside, I wonder why the phone is billed as F1. Doesn’t F1 stand for Formula One car racing? Well, I guess creative license and all that.

That aside, I am stumped by the creative idea and execution of the commercial.

To determine if mine is a genuine stumping, I am calling for the third umpires visiting this page to referee the matter.

But first, the third umpires will need to watch the replay. Here it is:


Watching the ad, I was puzzled.

What was the ad trying to say?

Why was the phone claiming to be a selfie expert?

What sort of brand name was OPPO? It rather reminded me of a Tamil word Appo, meaning what then or just then?

Why was Hrithik Roshan, who normally makes my heart throb a little, looking so funny and silly? I am not going to say anything about Sonam’s posed smile! Aren’t selfies supposed to be spontaneous, candid and all-too human?

Why was the commercial asking the viewer to cheer for India? How was that relevant other than OPPO wearing an official sponsor badge?

How come a smart phone had failed to leverage its own technology to get viewers to register their selfies and cheers on a OPPO community platform? And that too, on as big an occasion as an India vs. Pakistan cricket match.

Too many questions. No answers. Till I googled for them this morning.

Turns out that the OPPO Selfie Expert F1 Special WT20 Edition has an ICC World T20 2016 insignia; a feature-rich front 8 MP camera with a f/2.0 aperture; ¼-inch sensor; Beautify v3.0 tool; and a special software to brighten display to bring out a flash-like effect while taking a selfie, similar to the top-end Apple iPhone 6S series*. The special edition phone also has a 13-mega-pixel primary camera on the rear.

Now I get Hrithik Roshan’s miming antics in the front and rear of Sonam. Someone please tell OPPO’s marketing and creative agency teams that any ad, which needs so much explaining does not work.

As for the ad asking viewers to cheer for India, turns out there is a WT20 Selfie Expert micro site set up for that purpose. Question is how is the viewer to know that? Or, that there are tickets to the final match to be won? Or, that winners of the #WT20SelfieExpert campaign can get to join the Toss with both captains and even get their picture taken by the ICC Getty Images photographer? Or, that winner selfies will be showcased on the sight- screen at match venues during the duration of the match?

What a wasted opportunity! Some INR 250 million in advertising down the drain, not forgetting the fees to the celebs in the ad. Come to think of it, I now suspect that the creative agency was forced to come up with a storyboard that featured both Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor in it. Hmmm…that’s why Hrithik Roshan is miming a front and rearguard action.

Yes, that must be it!

What does the third umpire, here on this page, think?

I know what I think. Apple was advertising its iPhone 6 phone during the same match and making its point beautifully on the phone’s innovative camera feature – photos can move now. Here’s an example. Enjoy!


#OPPO #WT20SelfieExpert

Featured Cover Image: Your Out by Graham Dean (Flickr CC By 2.0)

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