Adventures in Stupid Advertising Plays, Nokia Lumia 900 Edition

Nokia has just rolled out a new campaign for its Lumia 900. I am personally a bit disappointed in the company. Here’s why –

The Lumia 900 is a fantastic phone. It looks and feels great in the hand, the screen is beautiful, it is sleek and attractive, and it’s running an operating system that is fantastic. Seriously, Windows phone operating system is pretty terrific. Nokia could have rolled out a series of advertisements focusing on all of those aspects of the phone. They could even have stressed the Carl Zeiss optics on the camera. Seriously, this is an amazing phone that will do incredibly well especially considering the fact that it is $99 on contract or just $49 over at Amazon if you are a new customer.


How did Nokia roll out the ad campaign? Did they highlight the incredible build quality of the phone? No. Did they highlight the fact that it runs Windows Phone operating system incredibly well? No. Did they highlight the super camera? No. Did they highlight the fact that it has a big beautiful screen but it’s still easy to use with one hand? No.

No, instead of highlighting everything that is amazing about the phone they decided to go after the iPhone. Yes, the iPhone, the phone that every single member of Elana’s extended family was using Saturday at a family gathering. The iPhone, the phone that every one of my high school students seems to have or be planning to get. The iPhone, the phone that continues to gain traction and momentum.


The iPhone, the phone that Consumer Reports couldn’t recommend because of the death grip but was a huge success anyway. The iPhone, the phone that, in its current form, doesn’t suffer from the death grip any longer – not that anyone cared when it did- and is selling better than ever. Yes, instead of talking about all the great things about the Lumia 900 Nokia went after the iPhone… Or tried to.

Nokia, didn’t you learn, when you build yourself up by pushing someone else down you simply make yourself look like an idiot? It rarely is an effective strategy. Just ask Samsung! They are a solid number 2 behind Apple. Their “Fanboys” campaign certainly generated some buzz but according to BusinessInsider, it did not generate any long term benefits for the company. So if Samsung, with a very clever ad campaign and a much better market position, can’t pull off the anti-Apple routine, how can Nokia?

If you are going to use a negative strategy and hope it will be successful at least make sure that the person or company you are going after is vulnerable, and that people don’t like it all that much to begin with. Because otherwise, you go up against the 900 pound gorilla and you get crushed. And Nokia is already down to their last round in the ring-do they really have it in them to risk a K.O.?


Categories: Rants and Raves

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6 replies

  1. Totally agree. Nokia had a real chance here to demonstrate that they can stand on the merit of their produce, not put up an introduction that implies they are an “also-ran.” To me, the “entrance” should have been something that intelligently showcases the features of the phone and OS, as you suggested. Humor has a place in ad campaigns certainly, but to me it feels like the phone should have been marketed like George Clooney on the red carpet: intelligent, articulate, good-looking and on a mission (as it were), but instead comes off like a Rodney Dangerfield loud-jacket lounge humor parody, almost a caricature. It’s usually not a wise move on an intro to mock the very folks you’re trying to sway.

  2. I don’t like Apple that much, but even I think Nokia was dumb to point out an issue that is not even an issue any more.  Even when it was an issue it wasn’t really that big of an issue.  If they want to poke fun at iPhone….well they should try and find something that they do better.

  3. If the next iPhone is not coming out until October, there may be a lot of current iPhone 4 users who bought at launch who will have to wait an “extra” few months to upgrade, and maybe Nokia thinks that they can snag a few? 

    Yeah, probably not a great strategy.


  1. Developers, Please Finish Your Apps Prior To Release!