By Zsarlene B. Chua, Reporter

While 2016 has been a very busy year for Chinese mobile phone brand, OPPO, 2017 may prove to be even more so as the country’s marketing manager unveiled parts of its beefed up marketing strategy for the year which includes a “big event for every month” and a flagship phone launch within the first quarter.

“Competition is tight and we have to move faster. I know we already are, but we want to move faster than whatever we did in 2016,” Stephen Cheng, brand marketing manager, told reporters during the Sinulog media junket from Jan. 13-16.

OPPO opened their 2017 by partnering with ETC’s ‘Paintensity’ event alongside a media junket, a party which is said to draw more than 10,000 people. Sadly, said event had to be stopped because of the massive crowds which were starting to get unruly.

“Crowd at ‘Paintensity’ in Mabolo, [Cebu] getting violent. SWAT and uniformed police now on scene. Event ordered closed and crowd to be dispersed,” said Cebu Mayor, Tomas Osmena on a Facebook post on Jan. 15.

“If the organizers can’t control their own party, there will be no party,” Mr. Osmena added.

Despite the setback, and the fact that the Sinulog weekend—a festival in honor of the Sto. Nino held every January—was buffeted by rains which stopped on the day of the parade on the 15th before continuing the next day—OPPO said that they will be partnering with many more Filipino festivals and events, such as the LaBoracay every May in Boracay, Aklan and Masskara Festival every October in Bacolod, to name a few as they are focused on bringing the brand to the “biggest [events] attended by most people,” according to Mr. Cheng.

OPPO Philippines, clocked a 150% increase in the number of units sold and Mr. Cheng revealed that this year, they are gunning for an even bigger number but refused to divulge the exact figure.

Much of the growth was credited towards its “selfie-centric” phones, especially the F1s which debuted at the latter part of August and reportedly sold out in the first three days of launch.

“For December, a day would reach around 5,000-8,000 sales–not just for the F1s but the majority of that is F1s,” he said. During the first three days of the launch in August, the brand sold “over 19,000 phones”.

He said that their flagship will be arriving either on “February or March” and while he didn’t say whether the new release will again be “selfie-centric” he assured that there will be a launch for a “selfie phone” and another for “something new”, adding that their OPPO-branded accessories such as headsets and power banks will also be given a push this year.

On the partnership front, Mr. Cheng said they are currently working on three partnerships at the moment and has signed up to be the titular sponsor of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for the entire year.

“We’re working on three partnerships at the moment…we will definitely be partnering with more TV, print and online, like what we’ve doing the past three years: taking care of every portals we can,” he said.

Last year, the brand became sponsor of PBA’s Commissioner’s Cup and Governor’s Cup. This year, the brand will be sponsoring PBA’s entire year which includes the three conferences: Philippine Cup, Commissioner’s Cup and Governor’s Cup.