Gionee had put a planned Virat Kohli campaign on hold after India lost the prestigious ICC Champions Trophy final to Pakistan. Then, more for the fear of a negative public sentiment in the cricket crazy nation. Thereafter the Chinese smartphone brand has not has any kind of brand activation with its most precious ambassador. The biggest brand icon in Indian market.
Now, four months down the line, a sources in the company reveals that the brand and its face are heading for a split. Close to the Diwali time when rivals are launching mega campaigns with their brand ambassadors, Gionee and Kohli’s managers are said to have been in talks for an “exit deal”. The “break-up” is triggered by the major reshuffle in the Gionee top management.
The source has confirmed to insidesport.co that the new management was not keen to continue with “expensive” endorsement deals. “There have been serious discussions to exit these contracts. There have been no campaigns with any of our brand icons. The company is considering and evaluating the exit routes,” the source said. “It is not just about Virat, we are also not sure about our other signings (Alia Bhatt, Diljit Dosanjh, Dulquer Salmaan and Shruti Haasan).”
Gionee Marketing Head, Nomit Joshi is, however, dismissing the development as mere speculation and rumour. “There is no such development,” says Joshi even as he agrees that changes in the top management have led to a “slowdown in the company business”.
Earlier, in May this year Arvind Vohra had stepped down as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Gionee India after being at the helm for five years to make the way for the “senior management from China” to take over.
“We have had internal restructuring. These things lead to a temporary slowdown. We, too, have gone through that phase,” justifies Joshi, in response to the question that when Kohli can be seen in a Gionee campaign next? “It has been sometime that we have not had a new launch. There were plans for Diwali. However, with gadgets, you need to be 100% sure before a launch. There were a few glitches (with new models), which have been fixed now. Our new models will be out in the market soon after Diwali,” added Joshi.
Gionee had signed Kohli as a brand icon in January this year. That was the time the company was planning major expansion for India market. However, unexpected internal developments have led the company to a let Diwali go without a launch or campaign.