Published in El Pais, 25 September 2018.
It’s September which means it’s time for the latest iPhones. Apple of course has been known for their innovative designs but lately it’s been other companies that have been able to stay ahead such as wireless charging, water resistant phones and dual SIM card technology. Of course various techies and reviewers are quick to troll Apple for this but companies are starting to get in on the action as a new form of marketing.
Last year Apple throttling batteries was the theme of a Samsung commercial where a girl traveling was having problems caused by her slow phone before she gives up and buys a Samsung. Huawei has taken a rather unique approach this time around with a new viral marketing campaign. The biggest criticism this year for Apples new phone is its battery size with Huawei already surpassing it. It is for this reason they decided to take the “sympathetic” approach to Apple’s customers by handing out power banks to customers camped out of the store for the latest phone with a note saying “Here is a power bank. You’ll need it.” These were not cheap promotional batteries either, these batteries retail for $50 in store making them actually quite useful.
Of course the dig at their competitor did not go unnoticed as news outlets over the world reported their little publicity stunt, as they are able to both point out their competitors flaws and their own strengths but one has to wonder is it truly a better strategy than a traditional add campaign?
Social media plays a huge role in marketing strategies now as it’s effective and usually more cost affective as followers often willing listen to what you have to say without even paying for air time but this is different. This was not cheap as they have given away thousands of high end batteries to their competitors customers and the simple truth is social media campaigns are normally short lived. Should I bring this up a few months from now many will have no idea what I am talking about. A traditional add campaign can be run for months before going stale.
Of course we don’t know how much Huawei spent on this campaign and it may be a while before we can tell if it was a success or not. I will however give credit for an outside the box campaign and will looking out for other companies to follow suit.