Nokia: Not just a phone

By Abhishek Chanda , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : October 23, 2008
The brand has launched a campaign to promote its foray into the style segment

Reliable, robust

and now ritzy is what brand Nokia plans to stand for. To do that, it has launched a chic, yet true to life, campaign featuring Hindi film actor Priyanka Chopra. The film is part of Nokia's global rollout of the Girl Uninterrupted campaign.

The global campaign has a lot of Internet activity, including vehicles like viral advertising, and comes with an intriguing thought, 'If you found somebody's phone, would you look into it?' Its Indian counterpart comes with a catchy communication, 'It's not just a phone; it's who we are', and plans to exploit traditional media. The film coincides with the release of the Priyanka Chopra starrers, Fashion and Dostana.

The creative duties for the campaign have been handled by Wieden + Kennedy (W+K), and the film has been shot by Jonathan Lennard and produced by Bang Bang Films. Maxus, a part of Group M, is handling the media duties. Nokia officials refused to comment on the ad spends.

Click on the image to view the TVC
Speaking on the launch of the campaign, Devinder Kishore, director, marketing, Nokia India, says in an official communiqué, "Nokia is pleased to strengthen its bond with style conscious consumers, both through its association with the glamorous Priyanka Chopra and our latest style campaign. This is a very trendy and attractive campaign that focuses on weaving Nokia in people's lives, across all their stylish and cherished moments."

Elaborating on the brief given to the agency, Shefali Chhachhi, head activation, Nokia India, says in an exclusive to afaqs!, "Mobile devices have transcended their functional use and become style statements and Nokia as a brand has led this movement. Therefore, W+K was briefed to create a campaign that will strengthen our bond with the style conscious consumer and celebrate how Nokia is a part of people's active lifestyles. We wanted the campaign to be bold, stylish and humorous with a touch of allure and individualism."

When asked about the personal relationship that Nokia seems to establish with the consumer (in case of the TVC, Priyanka), Chhachhi comments, "A Nokia device has become integral to people's lives and is an extension of their personalities. And that is what our campaigns reflects, a warm and emotional connect focused on how Nokia is a stylish, trusted friend at all times."

The TV commercial begins with a Nokia phone buzzing. Chopra reaches out for it. She starts getting ready for the day, while exploring her room and wardrobe. In a split-screen, she can simultaneously be seen emoting. She takes pictures of herself on the phone and sends it to her friends. Cut to Chopra venturing out in her car, while touching up her makeup using the mirror-finish phone.

Devinder Kishore

Shefali Chhachhi

V Sunil

Nirmal Pulickal

Roopak Saluja
She gets busy with her daily schedule of shoots. In between, she answers calls and reacts on the phone. Later, she heads for dinner with her girlfriends. On her way back home, there is a moment of panic when she is unable to find her Nokia phone. After a desperate search, she is finally relieved to find it under the car seat. Back home, she gets ready for bed, talking on the phone all the while. She puts her phone back on the bedside table where it was buzzing earlier and signs off, "It's not just a phone; it's who we are", while the product shot comes up.

Speaking to afaqs! about the campaign, V Sunil, global partner and chief creative, W+K, says, "The insight for the campaign was very simple and clear. A mobile phone is a device that accompanies us from the time we wake up to the time we go off to sleep. It is a part of our daily life. Thus, our phones are no longer 'just phones, but who we are'.

He adds, "The TVC that you see is not just another commercial, but a true story about a day in Priyanka's life. The script has a lot of inputs and cooperation from her. Though the global rollout may not have celebrities in all parts of the world, in India, we chose to go ahead with her."

When quizzed about the use of celebrities, Sunil replies, "Priyanka justifies her role endorsing the Supernova and Slide phones. After all, these are the phones that a person with oomph would typically use, instead of the Rs 2,000 priced phones meant for the masses. This makes the film much more believable and easy to associate with."

Though the film was shot in a handful of locations in Mumbai amidst heavy rains and the ongoing Ganpati festival, with an American director and a high profile celebrity on board, things went well. And Nirmal Pulickal, associate creative director, W+K, couldn't be happier about it.

Pulickal says, "Priyanka, in real life, uses a Nokia handset. So, when we told her about the tagline, she could identify with it completely. Again, we had to be careful with the outcome of the film, since we wanted to strike a balance between the glam quotient and staying grounded."

A closer look at the film and one may get a sniff of an all encompassing Nokia brand campaign, even though the film is specifically about the Nokia 3600 Slide and 7610 Supernova phones.

Chhachhi clarifies, "Nokia is not just about one phone or one service. Any Nokia product launch campaign needs to be a brand campaign and be thematic in nature." To this Nusrat Madraswala, account planner, W+K, adds, "The overall brand feel was very much in our minds while we were planning the film. In fact, that has been there in some of the other Nokia campaigns done by us, too. Also, the Indian take on the global thought is rich on the generic usage of mobile phones."

As far as the execution of the film is concerned, Jonathan Lennard was in charge. Lennard, a renowned fashion, beauty and celebrity photographer based in Paris, has worked with some of the world's best known super models. Jason West, who made a significant contribution to Farhan Akhtar's Rock On, was the cinematographer.

Elucidating on the treatment, Roopak Saluja, managing director and executive producer, Bang Bang Films, says, "To have a quasi-voyeuristic look at Priyanka's daily schedule was a very important aspect of the brief. Therefore, we weaved a hand held camera feel into in our shot plan. Again, to convey her busy schedule, we deployed fast cuts and split-screens, which lent a racy nature to the film."

On Lennard being chosen as director, Saluja says, "He is one of the best talents available in the industry. His past experience with beauties such as Julia Roberts, Liv Tyler and Uma Thurman and his capability in handling celebrities, coupled with an eye for artistic extravaganza, made him a natural choice for us."

The TV campaign will be integrated with other consumer touchpoints, such as print, outdoor, radio, online and digital media. Plans for any on-ground activities do not exist at this moment. Apart from India, the campaign will also be seen across South Asia, West Asia and North Africa. The campaign will address all tier 1 and 2 markets. The target audience comprises of the large style segments of the country.

First Published : October 23, 2008

© 2008 afaqs!