The hardware manufacturer, which was originally a business-to-business brand, has been moving gradually into the consumer space. Just over a year ago, Huawei appointed WPP to its global advertising account, with Y&R Beijing taking on four new mobile phone launches in 2013. However, Huawei has not been helped by the U.S. Congress considering the company a threat to national security because of its close ties to the Chinese government and military.
Jerry Huang, Huawei Consumer Business Group director of marketing communications, said in a statement, "For a global company, with headquarters in China, we need a digital marketing partner who has both a strong global network and a credible footprint in China. Isobar is one of the only digital marketing agencies who can offer a global network with home grown local knowledge and talent. We look forward to working with Isobar as we continue to take the Huawei brand to the world."
Isobar, owned by Dentsu-Aegis Group, claimed to have won the account after a "competitive, multi-agency pitch," but declined to say which agencies were in the running or how much the business is worth. Isobar has already created work for the brand, retaining Huawei's "Make it Possible" positioning, with a viral video on show at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month that featured a grinning Elvis look-alike and announced, "More speed is coming to Vegas."
Jane Linbaden, CEO of Isobar China, said in the statement, "Huawei is one of China's most exciting brands. They have increased their global footprint over the past few years as they continue to grow the brand internationally from China. We are thrilled to have been selected to work with Huawei to continue to build upon their success. We look forward to creating innovative digital and social marketing campaigns which will allow consumers around the world to experience the brand."
Huawei promoted its smartphone – particularly the Ascend Mate 2 – and tablets at CES and plans to introduce its wearable technology at next month's Mobile World Congress in Spain, where it is set to unveil a smart ring and a smart watch.
Huawei claims to be the number-three smartphone provider worldwide behind Samsung and Apple, and plans to improve its global profile by bringing more of its more high-end products to the U.S. this year.
Japanese advertising giant Dentsu Inc completed its $5 billion acquisition of U.K.-based Aegis Group, which was Isobar's parent company, in March 2013.