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Nokia Crowdsources App Ideas

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | May 21, 2014
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Shah Rukh Khan, actor and owner of IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, plays 'app coach' in Nokia's recent TVC. He invites viewers to suggest apps that can help keep his players "appy". The product being advertised is Nokia's recently launched handset, Nokia X.

Of late, brands have been heavily promoting their mobile apps on TV. Recently, afaqs! carried an article that analysed the viability of this medium to promote apps. Now we have handset manufacturer Nokia crowdsourcing ideas for apps through a TVC.

Nokia App Coach TVC

Nokia X Phones

Babita Baruah

The campaign leverages the brand's association with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), an IPL team owned by Shah Rukh Khan, who does all the talking in the ad. He tells viewers that he is "app coach" for KKR and asks them to send in "motivational apps" that can help him keep his team going.

Called the Nokia X App Coach Challenge, the contest offers winners a chance to meet Khan and his team. Consumers are invited to suggest apps that can keep Khan and his players "appy".

The competition will comprise several challenges in the form of questions on social media platforms; consumers will be required to suggest an app best suited to solve that particular problem. The winning suggestions will feature on the Nokia X, in a section called 'SRK's Fastlane'. Fastlane is a feature on Nokia's handsets, which shows a user his/her most-used apps.

The primary media touchpoints for this campaign include TV, digital and on-ground.

The campaign has been ideated by digital agency Havas and executed by JWT India. Speaking to afaqs! about the brief behind the campaign, Babita Baruah, VP and executive business director, JWT Delhi states that the brief was to launch the Nokia X, leveraging the association of Nokia with KKR in a unique and engaging manner, while bringing out the ease of accessing one's favourite Android apps and activities via Fastlane.

About the creative insight that the campaign draws on, Baruah says, "The youth of today want to live a fast-paced and spontaneous life, with the confidence and control of staying on top of all the activities and events. Fastlane allows consumers to do this by putting the activities, apps and games they've used recently on their phone, right at the top of the list. Keeping this feature in mind, we came up with a script that showed how effortlessly a task can be done with a Nokia X via Fastlane," informs Baruah.

The Nokia spokesperson tells us that the main TVC shows consumers how easy it is to access apps and their most recent activities on the device, via the Fastlane feature.

Speaking about the digital engagement of the campaign, the spokesperson says, "There are a number of digital challenges/questions that will be posed to participants on a periodic basis. Consumers will be invited to suggest app ideas that help solve the team's problems. For instance, in the first challenge, consumers are asked to suggest apps that can help kill the players' boredom during inter-city travel. There will be a new challenge posed in the next phase, and so on," the spokesperson explains.

Appy Enough?

In 2013, Nokia had launched a digital contest called 'Your Wish is My App' to promote the Lumia and understand the kind of apps Lumia users would like to use. Last month, Nokia partnered with NDTV for a second season of the app-based reality show.

While 'Your Wish is My App' was an initiative to better understand app usage patterns and preferences of a Lumia user, the current 'Nokia X App Coach Challenge' focuses on the ideas generated by the users of Nokia X, a phone the company pegs as affordable. The dual SIM Android phone was launched in India at Rs 8,399, last month. Notably, this is Nokia's first Android phone in the country.

RP Singh

The idea of targeting potential app users and people who understand the app world well, through a TVC, has not gone down well with our expert. According to RP Singh, CEO, Sirez Group, a digital marketing solutions company, TV is not a "natural fit for the TG." The core audience, he says, is available online only.

Sure, the company is not targeting app developers or geeks who write codes for apps. Even so, odds are a person who understands the app world well is more likely to spend his/her time online than watching TV. This is probably why Nokia is promoting this competition across media channels.

Singh points out, "I am sure Nokia has already targeted the real TG on digital platforms. This is thus a rare media scenario wherein TV is giving the brand incremental reach. Usually it is the other way around."

He adds about the ad per se, "It is a boring execution. With Shah Rukh Khan, things could have been much more exciting."

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