Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Ad Campaign and the Grinch

Is it me?

Nokia's new viral ad campaign for its N95 centers around Internet warnings of jealous laptops viciously attacking their owners when the computer spotted the Nokia phone and responded with unbridled rage.

The site comes with warnings as to what to do in the event of a computer attack, offers of camouflaged ringtones (so the eavesdropping computer won't know it's a Nokia) and even the facade of a coffee cup you can use to disguise your phone so the computer won't see it.

I keep reading about this on blogs whose authors find the whole thing hilarious. Somehow the hilarity is lost on me.

This may offer a lesson about people-influencing and expectations. Remember the 2000 presidential debates? Al Gore was a famously effective debater, while George W. Bush was known to bumble on his feet. Expectations for Gore's dominance over Bush rose so high in the days before the debate that all Bush had to do was avoid tripping over his shoelaces (which he did) to be perceived as the winner (which he was).

I first heard of the thing via a blog post all about how incredibly hysterical it was. So I had high expectations when I followed the link to the jealous computer Web site. Maybe the big buildup made the whole thing seem anticlimactic. Maybe if I'd come upon it some other way, with no particular expectations, I would have been ROTFL like everyone else.

The odd thing about all this is, the product being touted is the Nokia 95, a mobile phone designed, so far as I can tell, to engender jealousy in iPhones, more than in computers. If I were a laptop and feeling threatened, I'd be more likely to attack my owner if he or she came home with the Nokia 800 Internet Tablet, which, unlike any phone or other mobile device I know of, browses the real Internet, rather than the mobile 'net, and because it runs on open source, has infinite potential for new applications to be created for it as well.

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