ZTE

ZTE Axon M Launch

/ Work / ZTE

ZTE is the #4 mobile handset brand in a market dominated by the all-powerful duopoly of Apple and Samsung. To disrupt that takes not only a startling product, but a gutsy, in-your-face approach to communications.

Creating Advantage

We arranged 29 media pre-briefings, which resulted in 396 pre-launch articles.

We staged a launch event in Brooklyn, attended by 82 top-flight media, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, PC Magazine and Bloomberg, resulting in 400+ articles.

Media coverage had 97% positive sentiment and 54% penetration of the key message, "Axon M is revolutionary / innovative."

While sales figures are confidential, the launch of the Axon M has been so successful that both Samsung and Apple announced expedited timeframes for bringing their foldables to market.

AWARDS

Gallery

Project Leader

In the summer of 2017, ZTE, the fourth largest smartphone supplier in the U.S., challenged Grayling to launch the Axon M, the first foldable smartphone.

The concept of a foldable smartphone wasn’t new. Apple and Samsung have been teasing it for some time, but they haven’t actually created a product. With Axon M, ZTE would be rst to market. That presented us an opportunity to put a dramatic stake in the ground and elevate ZTE’s presence.

Mastering the Message: Innovation has stalled. Smartphone launches are no longer innovative, they’re iterative. And Twitter was our friend in nding a treasure trove of consumer sentiment to back this up.

Engaging the Audience: There are an elite few who review every phone. Everyone knows who those reviewers are, and what they look for in a phone. But for those reviewers, ZTE is an often under-appreciated quantity. However, we knew we had a brand new device that the average mom, gamer, business person, etc. would nd incredibly useful in their lives. We decided to exploit that angle and go beyond the phone nerds.

Leveraging the Leak: The least surprising thing that happened during the run up to the unveil was that VentureBeat’s Evan Blass leaked the announcement.
It was inevitable. But we were prepared. When Evan’s article hit we paused for a moment to see in which direction it took the story. And when we weren’t wholly satis ed with it, we worked with a trusted media partner to plant our own “leak.”

Our work has generated over 1,100 articles totaling more than four billion impressions. Coverage has been overwhelmingly favorable, and we’ve seen key message pull through in two-thirds of articles.

Pre launch: 29 pre-briefings, 396 articles, 366.4m reach, 96.7% positive / neutral

Post-launch: 403 articles, 1.4bn reach, 97.1% positive / neutral

Message penetration: Axon M is revolutionary / innovative: 54%

Controlled leak: 350k readers; 18.5k social shares; 776k social reach

Paid support: Sponsored content reach: 91m; TechRadar: 11.4m UVM; Influencer reach: 5m+

Launch event: 82 media attendees, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, PC Magazine, Bloomberg, resulting in 400+ articles

While sales figures are confidential, the launch of the Axon M has been so successful that both Samsung and Apple announced expedited timeframes for bringing their foldables to market. We succeeded in not only pushing the space forward, but in forcing the two most dominant players to follow, rather than lead.