OnePlus featured in latest House of Cards season, thanks to $300k deal

by: Andrew GrushMarch 8, 2016


Samsung and Apple may be the kings of mobile in the US, but there’s certainly no lack of competition in the space. Not only do we have a handful of ‘established’ players like HTC and LG, there’s also plenty of relative newcomers, most straight out of China. Getting in the US market isn’t easy, but marketing and advertising is certainly key. To that end, OnePlus is hoping to increase recognition through product placement.

Those who regularly watch the show and have already plowed through Season 4 might have noticed that all three of OnePlus’ phones make an appearance at some point in the season. None by Kevin Space’s Frank Underwood character, but plenty of minor characters and even some major ones, like Claire Underwood.

OnePlus has now come out on Weibo to confirm this isn’t just coincidence, and that the company actually paid $300k for the privilege. So was it worth it? It is obviously too early to tell for sure, though I’m sure many of you will have an opinion on it in the comments.

For what it is worth, many companies do this, including Apple and Samsung. In fact, OnePlus isn’t even the only Chinese company getting involved in product placement in US shows and movies, with OPPO partnering with America’s Next Top Model in 2015 and Vivo placing its X5 Pro in “The Martian”.

What do you think, is this kind of advertising effective?

  • gg

    Now that’s a bad way to burn money… The purpose of marketing is raising brand-awareness and as an effect should lead to new customers. I doubt that Oneplus is in the position to reach this purpose.

    • benoita74

      Considering every tech site covered the news, I wouldn’t say this is a bad idea.
      Plus it helps establish OnePlus as a ‘real’ brand and not just an internet fade.
      It is true however that in actual diffusion of the show, it may not hit many prospects, unless it is accompanied by a general marketing campaign in the US.
      Also it would be interesting to know if the show is translated in Chinese.

  • DDD

    I’d have to actually watch the show to tell, so meh. I’ll never really know if it’s worth it. But do they ever say the name of the brand? It’s not like most people are going to recognize it otherwise.

  • Modman

    Never watched the show. They need to do it in a show that almost everyone watches. I loved op a year ago but slow updates missing features. poor customer support buggy software otas killed it for me. I’m quite happy running chroma ROM on my nexus 6 now. And I sheep they will always buy from apple no matter what they see so they are a lost cause. people will notice iPhone Samsung HTC just by placing it. op doesn’t have that kind of brand recognition so they would have to raise awareness like creating a op commercial during Netflix show then someone might notice.

    • Overheated Oven

      They should’ve been making a deal with GAME OF THRONES that’s a show everybody watches … whould be epic

  • RiTCHiE

    Thought Samsung had that shit coverd? Everywhere you look they have a s6 in house of cards/

    • Luka

      Note5 as well, BlackBerry too. How funny would it be if Samsung and BB didn’t make any deal.

  • nebulaoperator

    First they brought awerness like no one else in the market then they had first and true flagship killer. Then they f**cked up customer service. Then they brought a child of 1+1 and they lost they fan base because they overhyped product .Now they are like other myriad OEMs trying to survive. Things taken for granted can be taken away in a click.

  • charlie Jason

    Brand recognition just doesn’t come that easily. Apple and Samsung have had big market share for so long that most people don’t even consider other brands.

  • Matthew Merrick

    That’s some terrible product placement in the Martian. I love the movie, saw it several times, and I actively over-analyze the tech people use IRL and in entertainment. and I could not tell you which phone(s) were present there.

  • Modman

    What a shame I loved the first opo in 2014. Timing was great because no one else had a great specced phone at that price. No real flagships. Overhypyed op2 2016 flagship killer went south. USB c no quick charge and NFC removed. Vr presentation was great but when similarly specced nexus and others dropped in price, with more features op was officially over. Even Nexus 5X moto nexus 6. Game of thrones would be a start. Microsoft had some good plugs with surface on the awesomes on Hulu.

  • Arman

    Most people won’t care or even notice it, so I think its a waste of money.

    • Fred

      I did not noticed it until I read that. My bad. :)

  • John Doe

    Sorry, but HOC’s has become so lame compared to some of the new shows that I cannot bring myself to
    actually want to watch it anymore!! The 1st 2 seasons were great, but season 3 was sooooo boring that
    I lost all interest .. this season I thought I would just see if it continued down the boring path again .. and
    well .. it has .. Oh well back to Billions and Suits ..

    • Fred

      I feel you on this. Season 3 was useless. Season 4 is ok but it is as the same level of 1 and 2. Better they end it there.

  • Matthew Dorris

    I noticed the OnePlus in the show. Will other people notice it. No. Especially considering most people have never even heard of OnePlus. I think they could have better spent their money.

  • Colton Blumhagen

    300K & it wasn’t even exclusive. Bad deal for Oneplus IMO especially since most people won’t notice. (I didn’t notice until I saw the articles)

  • 404

    But most people have never heard of OnePlus, and so most people will think it’s just a prop phone.

  • Fred

    Wasted 300k for nothing. The design if this phone is so common that no one noticed it. And it make me wonder how much for the video game featured during 5 mn?

    • Jehan Kateli

      The camera module is somewhat distinctive. Still, only the nerds will recognise it.

  • Maikel92

    I watched The Martian and I didn’t notice that it was a Vivo on the movie so… XD