Nokia Going Global With Ad Campaign

According to The Wall Street Journal, Nokia is launching its first fully global ad campaign. The slogan “1,001 reasons to have a Nokia imaging phone” will find its way into print, broadcast and Web sites across Europe, Asia and Africa, with the US following in a few months.

Speaking on behalf of the US market, the slogan hardly rolls off the tongue. It feels a bit like a “slogan by committee” which may very well be the result of trying to come up with a slogan that appeals to everyone. Nevertheless, global ad campaigns are a clear trend and it will be interesting to see how Nokia fares.

A photo of a baby will be used in some Nokia ads, as previewed here:


Of course, the nationality and ethnicity of that baby is a big deal in many markets, which is why Nokia wisely plans to localize the campaign as necessary. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

    To combat concerns of losing local flavor, Nokia is making some tweaks for different cultures. The current campaign will employ actors from the region where the ad runs to reflect the look of the local population, though they will say the same lines, Mr. Rantala says. He also said local settings would be modified when showcasing the phones, such as using a marketplace in Italy or a bazaar when advertising in the Middle East.

Cost savings is one driving force behind global ad campaigns. Nokia would like to cut back on the number of advertising agencies it relies upon around the world. For this campaign, it relied on just two firms – one for Asia and one for EMEA. The company also wants to achieve some economies of scale on advertising production, although with the added localization required for each market, I’m dubious that production costs will be decreased significantly.

The true measure of success won’t be cost savings but revenue increases. In other words, does a global ad campaign help a company sell more product globally?

It all depends on the campaign. Few advertising campaigns ever become breakout hits regardless of their geographic focus. It’s a tough business and consumers are harder to reach than ever before.

However, it is important for companies considering global ad campaigns to consider the risks and rewards of doing so. A global ad campaign is the biggest bet a marketing manager can make. If the campaign fails, it fails BIG.

Contrast the global campaign against a myriad of local ad campaigns, none of which promise global success but also none that will result in global failure. Another upside to launching a number of local campaigns is the opportunity to discover a hit campaign in one market that can be expanded into other markets.

Using the baseball analogy, the global campaign is the equivalent of players trying to hit a grand slam while local ad campaigns are the equivalent of a number of base hits. The tactics are different but the goal remains the same.

I’m not confident that this particular campaign will be a grand slam for Nokia, but I applaud them taking a big swing.

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