Nokia’s latest ad campaign is pretty astounding, for all the wrong reasons. Picked up today, the advert depicts a stylized queue for the iPhone 5, where one customer who enters the store asks if the iPhone perhaps comes in yellow. The customers surrounding him are shocked and alarm bells begin to ring. I mean seriously, this is the stuff of nightmares. The whole scene is a little bit alarming, and I wouldn’t recommend viewing it under the influence of any form of hallucinogenic. Having realised his terrible mistake, suddenly the customer sees a swathe of people of various colors (colors of the rainbow, not race) using their similarly colored Nokia Lumia phones.
So what’s the moral of story? Essentially, the Nokia Lumia is yellow. The iPhone is not. Therefore, you should buy a Nokia Lumia.
I can see this message really speaking to the people, it’s this kind of revolutionary thinking that saw the Windows Phone worldwide market share rocket to 3.50% in Q2 of 2012, and its the same revolutionary thinking that saw Nokia post an operating loss of 826 million euros, also in Q2 of this year. Sorry folks, but let’s face it, the Lumia isn’t really stealing the show is it? But it pains me to say that, so much, because I love Nokia, I really do. My first ever phone was a Nokia 3310, the indestructa-phone You could charge it from a direct lightning strike, and you dared not drop it on concrete, because you’d break the floor. Nokia sat at the top of the mountain for so long, and it is held in tremendous esteem by the entire tech community for its achievements But recently, it’s been falling behind, and this kind of straw-man advertising is worthless.
Seriously, if this thing vibrated in your pocket, it would break your leg.
My first issue.
What I’m trying to say is that Nokia is barking up the wrong tree. Why? Because the 920 is a brilliant phone. It has a better display than the iPhone 5; it has a bigger display than the iPhone 5; it has the best camera ever put in a smartphone, it has a fantastic battery life and a great processor. So why isn’t Nokia telling anyone about it? Instead of ridiculing the iPhone, Nokia should be talking the Lumia up, because there’s a lot to shout about. I’ve long held a special loathing for companies that get by belittling the success of others, but there’s something more to this particular incident…
I could perhaps sympathize more with a campaign that had played on an actual deficiency of the iPhone 5, such as it’s rather awful mapping software. Nokia has managed to excel in this area for some years, and so a stylized advert showing a lost iPhone user in a sea of Lumia users successfully navigating their way from A to B would have been much more convincing. But the color? The color? Let’s take a look at that…
Nokia is trying to tell its audience that the exclusive feature separating the Nokia Lumia 920 from the iPhone 5, is its outer shell’s ability to reflect light into your eye at a frequency of 525-505 Terahertz… (It’s Yellow)
Now I’m just going to throw this out there, nobody wants to buy a yellow iPhone. Just imagine, a yellow iPhone…
This is one of the most hideous pieces of technology I have ever seen.
However, this is rather more enticing. Why?
I have a theory that the Lumia and the iPhone are two similar phones created for very different purposes. The iPhone is reserved, calm, executive. If it was a person, it would wear a pin stripe suit, work for a Fortune 500 corporation and drive an executive saloon car. It would listen to classical music and play golf in its spare time. If the Lumia were a person, it would wear the latest designer clothes, have a crazy haircut, not too dissimilar to mine, listen to all the latest music, and it would travel to the skatepark in something a little more boisterous than a diesel BMW.
These two phones represent two very different ideals. The iPhone is a clean, crisp, executive piece of hardware, whereas the Lumia is fun, its curvy design is just a bit more exciting. That’s why yellow works so well. Lamborghinis look fantastic in yellow, but have you ever seen a yellow Mercedes, or a yellow Maybach? Have you ever seen a yellow business suit?
The iPhone doesn’t suit (pardon the pun) yellow, because yellow is a vibrant color that doesn’t really fit in with the iPhone’s executive image. The iPhone should be black or white. Because otherwise it would just look silly, in any other colour, not just yellow.
What angers me the most is the fact that Nokia are trying to discredit the iPhone because it fails to satisfy a customer base that it was never created to reach. Do you think that Nike ridicules Gucci because their shoes are not vibrant and colorful like Nike Airs? No, because Gucci are not selling their shoes to an audience who want to buy colorful trainers. In the same way that Nike are not selling their trainers to men who want smart leather shoes.
I think that this new advertising campaign is a shame, because the 920 is a very good phone. That is what Nokia should be advertising not this.