Has Wieden got the idea for the Nokia N8 right?

Wieden and Kennedy’s launch ad for the Nokia N8 features blind photographer Gary Waite taking pictures with the new Nokia phone. Has Wieden come up with a winning idea for the struggling mobile phone manufacturer? I’d have to say no I don’t think so.

The reasons?

The ad, while conceptually strong, doesn’t address key perceptions or misperceptions about the brand. Nokia is largely seen as a has-ben (at least as far as smart phones are concerned). Its technology is both indistinctive and of questionable relevance and value to consumers today. This is a key issue that the advertising hasn’t addressed and needs to urgently if it’s to take the brand some place other than the mortuary.

What Nokia needs to be doing, whether through the N8 or a separate brand initiative, is giving its prospective buyers confidence. Confidence comes from providing people with a vision, one they can relate to and want to be part off. Nokia has not provided this through advertising or any other form of communication to its audience. Until it does so, it is unlikely to dislodge its competitors as a brand of choice in the competitive smart phone category.

The ad is also strategically weak. It is based on a tenuous platform – better pictures. If people are interested in high quality pictures, they’d be using a proper camera – not a phone that doubles up as one.

The credibility for their camera feature is weak too.

It’s based on an award from ‘what digital camera’ – how many know the brand or see it as a credible source of endorsement I ask?

True, Wieden would have had its challenges doing this ad, the biggest among them being a product with nothing much to talk about but its camera feature. Still, it remains, the agency hasn’t cracked one of its trademark game-changing ideas the way it has for Old Spice, Nike or even most recently the Chrysler 300 (show where you’re going, without forgetting where you’re from).

Wieden, like Nokia, need to figure out what their brand story is, its relevance to consumers lives and why they should believe or buy it.

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