Alcatel OneTouch in $100m global brand drive

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Advertising campaign in 40 countries promoting its reversible Idol 3 flagship smartphone

Alcatel OneTouch is to launch its biggest ever global marketing campaign, spending $100 million (£64 million) to promote its latest flagship device, the Idol 3 smartphone.

According to the Chinese manufacturer, a subsidiary of Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL Communication, it is the first UK “above the line” campaign in its 11-year history.

The campaign kicked off in 40 countries last week, across a number of platforms, including TV, cinema, social media and various public digital signage.

UK and Ireland country director William Paterson (pictured) told Mobile News the manufacturer was now in a position where it can “do something extra” having sold 9.7 million smartphones during the three months ending March 31 2015, growing sales 54 per cent year-on-year.

It has set ambitious targets to become the fourth largest manufacturer on the planet.

“This is our first above the line campaign for any of our products in the UK. The thinking behind this is that the device has our highest ever retail point.

“Traditionally we’ve been very pragmatic in terms of our approach in the UK. We’ve focused on sustainable, profitable growth. We’re at a position now where we’ve got this product at a higher price than ever before so it is a natural progression for us to take this step now.”

Ten million sales target 

The Idol 3 is Alcatel OneTouch’s highest ever priced smartphone at £210 for the 4.7 inch version and £260 for the 5.5 inch version. It was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress in March, targeting 10 million sales of the device globally.

It went on sale at the beginning of August and is available in the UK through Amazon, Talkmobile and JD Williams as well as Alcatel’s distribution partners Ingram Micro Mobility and Tech Data Mobile.

Global reach

In the UK, Alcatel OneTouch sold around 1.8 million devices last year, its best ever total, up from 1.6 million in 2014 and 1.4 million the year before.

It previously only advertised through sponsorship agreements, including the Rugby Super League, Clothes Show Live and with singer Eliza Doolittle.

Paterson said the success of these sponsorship deals had paved the way for its global advertising assault.

“In the past six or seven years our approach has been very sponsorship based and this has allowed us to access our audience through a vehicle,” Paterson added.

“Now, we can do something a little bit extra in line with the launch of this phone. It is all about continuing to get the product into the consumer’s hand. That’s all we’ve ever tried to do.

“Our market share has been growing steadily over the last few years. This campaign may not help us grow massively, but it is the first step in what will be a longer journey.”

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