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Creative Brand Strategy

Why OnePlus jumped into the ‘Shark Tank’ for its new mobile phone launch


By Amit Bapna, Editor-at-large

May 5, 2022 | 3 min read

Getting a new product noticed in today's crowded tech market can be a brutal communications challenge. So to cut through the clutter, mobile maker OnePlus has leveraged the global popularity of Shark Tank for its latest launch campaign in India. The Drum hears from the team hoping they've struck a pitch perfect note with consumers.

OnePlus 10 Pro 5G launch film inspired by 'Shark Tank'

OnePlus 10 Pro 5G launch film inspired by 'Shark Tank'

Mobile phone maker OnePlus recently launched a slew of new products across some of its key markets. So far, so typical. But to create a compelling launch story amid all the tech clutter, the mobile phone company took a path less travelled and turned to ‘Shark Tank’ to inspire its campaign.

The work has been created by global production company Sweetshop Shanghai and directed by Jayga Rayn, the well-known filmmaker who has directed the previous two OnePlus films also for the agency.

The Drum asked Rayn to elaborate on what went into making the ambitious – and rather long – film.

The creative brief for the new phone launch

Instead of doing live events, big tech brands are increasingly using films as the medium of choice.

OnePlus has strived for a hybrid of the two with this campaign, which Rayn describes as an event product launch film to introduce the new flagship range.

“This is the ‘keynote’ for the launch of OnePlus' flagship product, it's a way to replace the ‘man in a turtleneck on stage going through a PowerPoint’ in a way that is dynamic and keeps the interest of the viewer”, adds Rayn.

Seeking inspiration from Shark Tank

The film has harnessed the global popularity of the Shark Tank show, in which eager entrepreneurs bravely pitch for investment, to tell its story.

Filmed in Shanghai, Rayn says the ambition was to create a high-end pastiche of the Shark Tank format with the unflappable entrepreneur representing OnePlus while the hostile Sharks represent the critics from within the community.

The Sharks provide the lead character with her conflict across moments of drama or hilarity, and the challenges they present allow the product to shine, he adds.

Getting the tech-spec storytelling right

Says Rayn: “Although we couldn’t rely on big location changes or anything too absurd, we created a tension that keeps the viewer engaged for the full runtime of the film, whilst also getting through plenty of tech specs.”

In this case, being a launch campaign, the film needed to showcase each feature of the new product – which meant highlighting more than a dozen features. That also explains the length of the film at 25 minutes of run time.

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