Minnie Wang
Feb 11, 2021

How Oppo's new global media director aims to reach Europe

Jan Harling, who joined Oppo on February 1, believes the brand is still in its infancy internationally. And he plans to use media expertise to reach the next level.

Jan Harling
Jan Harling

Jan Harling joined Oppo on February 1 as global media director. He was previously regional business director with TBWA, based in Bangkok, where he is now starting his new role remotely,

“Oppo is one of the most exciting and promising brands with tremendous potential,” Harling told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “I believe the brand is at an infant stage and will be able to grow quickly.” 

To do so, Harling aims to wield the power of data to help bring the brand to the next level of a larger global player. 

Originally from Germany, Harling has spent over 10 years in China, working in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen. He is a fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker. With TBWA for two years, he led precision marketing efforts for Nissan in ASEAN. Before TBWA, he worked for Huawei in Shenzhen and OMD and ZenithOptimedia in Hong Kong. 

“Media is a lot more than buying efficiently,” Harling said. “It is actually much more important to use the data to understand the audience that we have to reach, how we have to reach, where we have to reach. Trying to break down the silos between PR and social and the digital team and the website team and understanding how the content needs to be amplified.”

Harling admitted that despite its successes in the Asian market, the brand is still facing challenges in Europe. Harling thinks of it as a premium target for his global strategy, “Oppo performed well globally, with double-digit sales growth in Western Europe and Japan. Europe will be one of the most challenging regions as Oppo has just entered recently, and the consumers are sophisticated, and we need to earn their trust.”

In the European market, Oppo is cooperating with mobile operators including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Orange. At the same time, it is building a premium brand image and has worked with Swisscom to launch its first commercial 5G smartphone in Europe. The brand has also formed marketing sponsorships of both sports and esports events, taking up the French Open tennis tournament and FC Barcelona sponsorship and signing as the first global smartphone partner of esports competition League of Legends. Oppo hit the UK market with its first European Design Center in London and later opened a pop-up microcinema where people could watch films with their mobile phones. 

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