Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Nokia calls the iPhone 'beta' in snarky AT&T Lumia 900 ads

The iPhone 4S' Siri feature is in beta, and some customers are complaining about it. Nokia, however, with its hugely important AT&T Lumia 900 launch coming this weekend, is calling the whole iPhone, not just Siri, a beta product.

In the new Nokia ads, which have launched in advance of the Lumia 900, Nokia the iPhone as a “beta smartphone” as opposed to the "best smartphone" that some might label it. The ads are a series of fake hidden camera videos showing Apple employees discussing issues with the iPhone. Those issues include the famous "Antennagate Death Grip" furball, fragility, and screens that aren’t very readable in sunlight (but really, that's a common problem with non-e-ink screens).

Nokia has launched an entire site around the campaign, called Smartphone Beta Test. The videos are available both on the site and on YouTube directly.

At least one of the comments criticized the campaign for being negative, pointing out that negative campaigns never work (except, perhaps, for in politics).

They all feature the same set of three employees, with one bringing up a problem while the other two mock him.

The ads don't specifically make reference to manufacturers such as Apple, but the Antennagate reference and the fact that the iPhone 4S is the top single smartphone make the target clear: despite being pixelated, it's obviously an iPhone.

Right now the website simply has the three ads and a video of 30 Rock’s Chris Parnell in a super tiny video saying "if you've ever had the nagging suspicion that your smartphone was actually a borderline defective, glorified prototype in some kind of secret product test, you may have been on to something.” The site doesn't even talk about Windows Phone or the Lumia 900.

There is also a countdown clock which will reach zero on April 6, two days before the Lumia 900 actually hits AT&T retail. We assume there will be a sudden change in ads on April 6, focusing on the Lumia.

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