So , how do 2 companies that shaped an entire industry manage to go kaput in 2 years. Clearly Nokia and Blackberry rode the wave and fell hard. But just as you thought they had it in them to face the best in the world and resurrect from the brink, they unleash unpardonable ads. Ones that do no justice to their brands, their partner’s brands or just the wonderful products that they have just introduced. Begs the question – What are their marketers thinking ?
First Nokia. A company that went from Hero to Zero in like 2 years, going by the numbers. But the stagnation has been visible for almost 5 years now. But that’s the past. It takes a lot of guts and money to throw all your old baggage away and then come out with an OS which is not yours. You revamp your design, stop research and work on your archaic but once popular and patented OS , partner with what has to be a genuine competition to the market leaders, build your product ground up and now when you are finally a in position to have a go at regaining past glory … You bring out a multi million launch campaign with 3 ads on how good your camera is?? You focus on an app that is available across platforms, a steady camera that does not give bobbing heads when you are shooting a movie, and one on low light camera performance. Yes, we are promoting a brand new phone with a Killer OS here… How daft can you get?
The sad part here is Nokia is not only killing the only chance it has to redeem itself, but is killing Windows 8 too. This after a wonderful small but effective I just wanna be everything at once campaign from Windows. And let’s not even talk about the ugliest looking models that you ever saw on TV. I am almost tempted to hedge a bet that these are the very copywriters and creative idiots that thought of this campaign.
And then we have Blackberry. You can almost copy / paste the para on all they have had to do to bring about an internal renaissance and launch the wonderful Blackberry 10 OS. Having played with it, albeit for a short while, I can tell you BB has all the ticks in the right boxes. BB 10 has the potential to WOW the crap out of every person who uses it.. And what do they do? Their launch ad focuses on the camera ! But wait there’s more. The kid in the ad goes from crying to smiling using the exact same app that Nokia used in their ad. …Yep. The same one, that looks ditto in the interface. And that my friendsis how they signal the arrival of BB10. This when you have at your disposal infinitely superior ads made in the US. but, thats not all- They price it at 44000 INR. Yea, what were they thinking? Rather what ARE they thinking ?
What this means is that Samsung and Apple can happily go about taking control of the market. For them, it’s business as usual. So, Samsung happily chooses to focus instead on the Indian competition like Micromax’s Canvas by bringing out Galaxy Grand. A 20000 INR phone that promises all that the 40000 INR Lumia and Z10 have to offer in a larger than life beautifully shot campaign, while Apple continues to bombard us with its International campaign that gives some serious lessons in clever brand templating in ads across a decade. Seriously, which other company whom you know owns.. White.
It intrigues me, and I would give an arm and a leg for being a fly on the wall in the strategy meets or Nokia and Blackberry. Wonderful lessons I hope to get, in a shortcut to Killing Your Brand!