Advertising, so often, is about control as much as it is about creativity. Control of a brand, control of public perception, control of the process. But Nokia and Havas Worldwide Helsinki have decided to let go and play loose with their new project for the Nokia 1020 smartphone. 30 phones have been distributed around the world to volunteers who have been urged to take photos with it then pass it on to someone else. Through the social experiment, Havas hopes to bring the concept of shareability offline and into the streets. But the big question is, what will happen when agency and client hand the power over to anonymous citizens of the world? LBB’s Laura Swinton caught up with Havas Worldwide Helsinki Creative Director Marko Vuorensola and Nokia to find out more.
LBB> What was the brief you initially approached Havas with?
Nokia> We did not have a clear brief for the agency. Imaging is one of the key differentiators for Nokia and we seek creative ideas to communicate the message. We also have small creative team in-house and our team works normally as part of the creative team with the agency. Havas Worldwide Helsinki pitched one idea to us and we worked on tuning the creative concept together.
LBB> And for the Havas team - what were your initial thoughts when you heard what Nokia was after?
Marko> Having a good and long history with Nokia through success cases such as Nokia Nonstop Living in the past, we are able to openly exchange ideas with our client. That’s what happened here. We came up with an idea year or so ago and pitched it to them. They came back 6 months later with go-ahead. Then, in co-operation, we just developed the concept to the form where it’s today.
LBB> In terms of strategy, who do you hope will be the key target audience for this campaign?
Nokia> Our target segment is the "core consumer" as defined in our segmentation model. This means people who are mobile engaged, socially active and open to our brand essence of Very Human Technology
Marko> People around the world interested in social photography and storytelling. People curious about the world they live in.
LBB> Why did you decide to take the concept of 'sharing' offline and into the real world?
Nokia says they are all about very human technology so we wanted to investigate the human aspect of sharing, the need to share thoughts ideas, experiences and in this case content in the form of images.
Sharing is basic human behavior, you could also say we are going back to our roots? Today you can get instant access to the most distant places and experience them a little, so exploring that felt quite natural.
It's interesting to see how people behave and who they choose when it needs to happen in "real world". Do they want to keep the device close to themselves or hand it out to someone they don’t really know. We hope to see participants really thinking about the fact of who's view would be interesting to see?
Where will the device end up? Will it be passed to the hands of a street artist in Caracas, a police officer in Jakarta or a movie star in New York?
We all see the world differently from each other, the moment is always now but it's never the same. We wanted the site to support that. Next to just seeing how people see and share their city, it’s interesting to see for example how Barcelona looks when it's #sad or #happy. Or how it looks in all these cities at 8am?
LBB> How did you decide which cities to launch in? And how did you find and choose the people who would be first to receive phones?
Marko> We basically wanted to cover all continents and key markets and made sure we have interesting cities for people to see. In the end we decided to use Havas Worldwide's extensive network to launch the activity by selecting the starting participants through our local agencies in each city. After this the phone passes out of our control.
LBB> In terms of production, how are you planning to keep track of the phones and participants across all of the cities?
Marko> When starting this we all agreed, that we want to keep control to a minimum. That’s what makes this interesting. Will all the phones disappear within two or more degrees of separation? We’ll soon see!
We set up all the devices and pinned a participant brief to the phone’s start screen that gives a few key instructions.
We ask every participant to register with an alias and an email address on a specific domain for the campaign before uploading their pictures and we are asking the 10th participant in each city to return the device back to the 1st. That's about it.
We are going to make a book of all the best images after the campaign and we will send a copy to everyone that registers to take part. We hope this, together with people’s desire to get their contents seen by a wide audience, will keep the phones moving
LBB> What sort of things are you hoping to see as a result of the project? And how do you see it evolving?
Nokia> We want to establish thought leadership in mobile photography and storytelling. With this activity we are hoping to attract attention to the great photos taken with our devices around the world by ordinary people with no special skills. The activity will demonstrate that our phones produce great images are simple to use and will increase brand and product preference which we constantly measure on our website.
Marko> I’m interested to just see how it all is going to end up. It’s quite a new experience to give up control on this scale. I hope that the experiment ends up delivering unexpected and interesting views from the cities involved. I haven’t come across a gallery like this before, so that alone is exiting. Would also be nice to see a pool of different activities in social storytelling coming out inspired by this, I’d for sure like to do something similar under another theme.
Also it's interesting to see what people make of the pictures quality-wise, since with that device you can take pretty amazing pictures if you have the eye for it.
The Nokia 1020 phones will be sent to the following cities: Düsseldorf, Jakarta, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Stockholm, Milan, Amsterdam, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Ho Chi Minh City, Madrid, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Moscow, Istanbul, Zurich, Warsaw, Santiago, Delhi, Shanghai, Helsinki, Singapore, Paris, Dubai, Beirut, Almaty.
So stay tuned – on the 20th of January the first participants will start sharing their picture stories here: http://www.nokia.com/passiton