Nokia planning to double ad spending in Pakistan

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 1:12:30 by



KARACHI: 

In an attempt to grab a pie of the country’s growing smartphone market, mobile phone makers have been investing heavily in advertising their brands. The latest example is Nokia, which plans to more than double its ad spend for the local market.

Optimistic about the growth of phablets – a mobile device that combines the functions of a mobile phone and a tablet – in the country, the Finish mobile phone maker formally launched two six-inch smartphones namely Nokia Lumia 1520 and Nokia Lumia 1320 here on Tuesday.

“The phablet category already exists in this market, these devices are an add-on to the existing consumer needs,” Nokia’s Marketing Manager Smart Devices for Middle East North Africa (MENA) region Prihan Farrag told The Express Tribune on the sidelines of the launch ceremony.

The latest addition to Nokia Lumia range comes at a time when the country is close to holding the spectrum auction for high-speed mobile internet services. The spectrum auction, experts say, will provide a big boost to the penetration of smart devices – that currently stands at around 15% of the total market.

As opposed to the trend whereby some brands have got their products endorsed by local and international celebrities, Nokia chose to give its marketing campaign a local touch by linking these products to a reality show called ‘Kuch Kar Dikha’.

This marketing campaign is built around travelling whereby Nokia took its selected Facebook fans to scenic locations of the country and documented their journey through ‘Lumia Lens’ – the campaign’s theme song will hit national channels in a day or two.

The company, which had been an undisputed leader in the feature phone category, seems to have shifted its focus heavily on smart devices – it has already increased its local marketing budget.

“We have seen a very strong consumer appeal coming from the Pakistani market and we are driving to more than double our ad spend for this market,” Farrag said without giving country-specific numbers.

However, Nokia has spent billion on the marketing of Windows ecosystem in financial year 2013, according to Patrick Mercanton, Head of Marketing North Africa and Levent.

“There is an iOS and there is Android, what we have done in 2013 is to build a third ecosystem for smart devices with Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone,” Mercanton said in a presentation laden with the specs of Lumia 1520  and images taken from this device in different lightings.

Giving details, Mercanton said Lumia 1520 is their top-of-the-line device – just under 0 – that comes with the latest imaging innovations at Nokia and has a 20 megapixel (MP) camera. Lumia 1320 is the mid-range device to be sold under 0, it also has a six-inch display and 5MP camera. Both devices are power-efficient offering better battery life, he said.

Mercanton said they have conducted studies that show that phablet market is growing and there is space for such devices. “In 25 markets, including Pakistan, we ship more smartphones than Apple,” he said, explaining the company’s growth. “About 97% of the apps downloaded globally are available on Windows platform,” he said.

The officials did not confirm whether they plan to manufacture devices for Android – the fastest growing smartphone operating system – but hinted it will consider every opportunity to grow its market share.

“We aim to become third biggest ecosystem for smart devices in the world and whatever opportunity is there to deliver to the customers’ need we will consider,” Farrag said.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2014.

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