OnePlus smartphones were recently spotted in the fourth season of "House of Cards," but the product placement did not come cheap.
The handset manufacturer is the latest to join the platoon of tech names that not-so-discreetly create brand awareness by placing their phones in a TV series or movie.
According to a Weibo post, OnePlus paid no less than $300,000 to have three of its models, namely the OnePlus One, OnePlus Two and OnePlus X feature in the TV series "House of Cards." It is true that mainly secondary characters used the devices, but the fact that Claire Underwood aims to secure a OnePlus invite is both hilarious and endearing.
Check out the differences between the three devices in our coverage.
Going on a limb here, but most of us did play "spot the smartphone" when such a device appeared on a TV screen. Multiple OnePlus handset cameos starred in the latest season of "House of Cards," the popular TV series that follows Frank Underwood's power plays around Capitol Hill.
The OEM is far from being the first to pay its way into the limelight. Microsoft and Apple have been doing this for years now and the few seconds of product placement seem to pay off.
The aforementioned tech companies do not bat an eye when they have to shell out $300,000, but it might be different for OnePlus.
So far, the company relied powerfully on grassroots marketing, meaning that its message was spread from person to person in a "tell a friend"-like scenario that attracted quite a number of fans. Considering the broad appeal of "House of Cards," OnePlus hopes to tap into a wider demographic.
However, there is a problem with OnePlus' strategy: the company has almost no brand recognition outside Chinese borders. What is more, the company's phones are not even present in many global showrooms. This dims the chances for a "House of Cards" fan to spot a OnePlus device on the shelf and make a buying decision on the spot.
Other Chinese companies followed the product placement route in TV series and movies from the United States.
Observant viewers might have noticed that Oppo was a partner of "America's Next Top Model" in 2015. Vivo Electronics also took a shot at screen time by inserting its X5 Pro in the latest Matt Damon rescue mission, "The Martian."