Refreshed creativity at Nokia

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Nokia World 2011. Stephen Elop presents the Lumia 800.

Nokia’s new two-second TV “blipverts” were the brainchild of UK head of brand and campaigns Adam Johnson and created in line with the brand’s new youth focus.

“The two-second ads are a media first for mobile brands,” claimed Johnson at Nokia World in London last month. “The last time I checked we had over 500,000 views on YouTube. Twitter has gone nuts. It just shows how much intrigue and desire fo understanding there is for Nokia.

“It was a tough sell to convince the powers that be that it was a good thing to do. It was risky, but it is paying off.”
John Nichols, director of marketing UK and Ireland, says the campaign for the Lumia smartphone is Nokia’s biggest ever in the UK, taking in not just TV but cinema, digital, outdoor and a big push in retail.

He adds that in addition to Nokia’s youth focus, which has resulted in a tie-up with boy band One Direction, the brand will be taking a more youthful tone overall to reach its wider audience.

“It’s important to separate that youth campaign out from what we’re doing as a brand. A specific all-in target at youth is not where we are,” Nichols clarifies.

“We mean lots of different positive things to lots of age groups and people. We will be youthful in our approach, but being youthful is different to targeting youth. We are being much broader than that. We are a revitalised brand,” he claims.

Johnson says the creative agency brief was to “make people say ’I can’t believe that’s Nokia’.” He adds: “Everything we are doing is digital or dynamic. You won’t see us using static media because we want people to see the phone’s features, like the tiles on the interface opening to reveal the social hub.”

Nichols says Nokia’s delivery has three phases – intrigue, excite and stampede. He explains that the intrigue period moved into ’excite’ with the release of the new brand advertising last month and following the new devices hitting the shelves this week, activity is now encouraging the stampede.

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Johnson says the brand has been going for more diverse and intense media and promotional partners, and points to the fact that Nokia is the lead sponsor this year of the Turner Prize.

He says this tie-up is a result of the event being held in Newcastle for the first time and is part of Nokia’s strategic regional targeting.
“There’s a lot of latent love for Nokia outside London and we want to reignite that,” says Johnson. “Working with the arts enables us to tell a legitimate design story in that space – and get influential people to come along and see Nokia in an environment it wouldn’t ordinarily be in.

“While we have to go for reach in terms of TV buying, we want to go deep too, so we want to work with media partners with multiple touchpoints. Northern & Shell, for example, has a portfolio of TV, print and online.

“The 30-second ad has been the mainstay of TV for too long, so why wouldn’t you do a two-second spot? Or a three-minute ad-funded programme? Why couldn’t we do a cover wrap of OK! magazine and display the content in tiles like the ones on our phone’s interface? These are the kinds of things you can do by working with less partners more deeply.”

Nichols states that working more closely with partners is part of the new Nokia way of working. “The days of sending your ad agency a one-page brief and a budget and getting a media plan back are over. We have strong teams at all our agencies. They have really embraced this new mindset. It takes 50% more effort but the rewards are putting us in a different league.”

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