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Most technology enthusiasts wouldn’t hesitate to call the OnePlus One the best Android smartphone of 2014, if not just for its incredible value. But if you’re like most people, you’ve probably never heard of it. Unlike most technology advertisements which aim to reach as many potential consumers as possible and win their allegiance, the sole promotional video for the critically acclaimed OnePlus One is largely inaccessible to the general public. Like the video, which is unlisted on YouTube and can only be accessed from the manufacturer’s site, the phone is only available for purchase to those with highly coveted invites. To put it into perspective, in half a year, OnePlus has sold just 500,000 units, while the Apple’s iPhone 6 – released under three months ago – has sold nearly 40 million units. OnePlus has done all this with a marketing budget of a mere $300 – the same cost as a single device. Research shows that this obscurity and exclusivity is part of the two-step flow of advertising, in which incomprehensible or difficult to comprehend advertising is made more accessible by select influential people.

The first half of the advertisement features just one person, the creator, along with a montage of the designing, prototyping, and manufacturing process. We get a glimpse into the minimalistic, yet sophisticated and experimental thought process that went into choosing the materials, form factor, and hardware of the phone; we see the precision and delicacy in the manufacturing and also the elegance and quality of the phone itself. The frequent cuts and edits provide a dynamic and powerful experience that engages and draws the viewer in. However, little in the edited montage sequence informs the viewer of anything about the device; it isn’t until after halfway through the advertisement that any information is shared with the viewer. Here, subtle use of computer graphics imagery and effects provides seamless transitions between information blurbs and further conveys the sense of sophistication and modernization the company wants associated with the phone.


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