One do you do when you have a new, high-end, smartphone that’s not exactly getting purely praises by word of mouth? Kick the marketing into high gear, of course! And what could be better than having that smartphone unboxed in a death-defying stunt? Well, minus the death-defying, leaving only the stunt. That is exactly what OnePlus did when it invited YouTuber Jake Paul to Prague to unbox the OnePlus 3T in the most unlikely location: up in the air, inside a fighter jet.
So what’s the connection between the OnePlus 3T and a fighter jet? Truth be told, nothing, unless you consider the space grade aluminum alloy that is both used in the aerospace industry as well as in some smartphones, the OnePlus 3T included. If you stretch your imaginations a bit, you can also probably draw parallels between the speed of the smartphone as well as the aircraft. Or about how both the improved 16 megapixel selfie camera and the fighter jet give way to breathtaking views.
That said, we can’t deny the entertainment value of this unboxing, something T-Mobile is very much aware of. The carrier has done several unconventional unboxing videos of its own, from underwater to the air on a helicopter to the ground in a race car. More interesting perhaps is the fact that this is one of the rare, if not first, times OnePlus has resorted to a more traditional style of marketing, unusual for company that has so far relied mostly on social media hype and word of mouth advertising.
Perhaps it is yet another sign of change for the once small startup, who earlier this year switched to a more traditional direct retail model away from its much criticized invite system. This year is also the first time OnePlus released two flagships, though the OnePlus 3T is more like a half step up than an actual second premium smartphone. And that is partly why the OnePlus 3T seems to be one of the company’s most controversial smartphones yet, and precisely why it needs to step up the marketing.