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$300K Payoff Gets OnePlus A Presidential Placement On ‘House of Cards’

OnePlus, the upstart mobile phone maker that’s been widely lauded for its no-cost guerilla marketing, is taking a new strategic tack.

The company’s aggressively-priced but feature-rich phones have begun appearing in the hands of First Lady Claire Underwood and various White House functionaries in the popular Netflix political drama “House of Cards.”

In a departure from its initial social media strategy, OnePlus reportedly paid $300,000 for the product placements, which include its debut OnePlus One and flagship OnePlus 2 phablets. Last month, in an interview with CNET en Espanol, co-founder Carl Pei signaled plans to use more “traditional marketing” to promote the two-year-old brand as it ramps up production and prepares to introduce its fourth phone in June.

The Chinese vendor direct-sold more than 1.5 million unlocked handsets last year, most often by invitation only, and garnered a rabid following of phone enthusiasts thanks to an active online user forum, regular social media outreach from 26-year-old Pei and his youthful crew, and solid product reviews.

Hat tip to GBTimes