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Taking OnePlus from challenger brand to “flagship-killer” 

Mobile phone brand OnePlus had built a devoted community of early adopters but were relatively unknown to mainstream audiences in the UK. To move the brand from challenger to “flagship-killer” status, we needed to not only increase column inches in the all-important tech media with every device launch, but also burst out of the tech bubble and into the pages of national and lifestyle publications. 

Rumours and talkability get you everywhere with the tech titles in the mobile market. Knowing this, we built anticipation ahead of each launch by providing tech media and influencer fans with exclusive content and embargoed access. We then carefully managed leaks to ensure the media were drip-fed enough information to capture their interest and keep it up until launch day, supported by our full issue and crisis management centre. We also executed a reviews programme with critical top-tier tech media and hosted extensive pre-launch desk visits to ensure key contacts were on point with news and the wider story.  

To get the phones into the national and lifestyle pages and ensure year-round coverage for hero products between launches, we created themed imagery and content at key moments in the calendar: Valentine’s Day, festival season and hot colour trends,” to name a few. We also linked the brand with the world of fashion for the first timelaunching a partnership with internationally renowned French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. Face-to-face journalist meetings and exclusive product gifting catapulted OnePlus into the pages of top-tier style titles including Wonderland, GQ and Esquire. 


Identification and management of tech influencers to receive exclusive access resulted in numerous favourable YouTube comparison pieces during launch week. In pursuit of those all-important five-star ratings, our hands-on reviews programme resulted in glowing, accurate write-ups.  

The OnePlus 5T was the brand’s most successful product launch to date. Ninety percent of our secured reviews were “five-star, with coverage appearing in 99% of all key consumer tech media. Many used the all-important “flagship killer” messaging for the device. 

We increased national and lifestyle coverage by 20% between launches of the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T, resulting in 359 pieces of coverage in nine months. Our campaign delivered a reach of over 2.4 billion. 

Key pieces included Evening Standard, The Guardian, Telegraph, Metro, Daily Mail, Good Housekeeping, Daily Express, The Mirror, T3, CNET, TechRadar, The Verge, Wonderland, GQ and Esquire. 

Nineteen videos with key influencers generated over four million organic video views.