The “Push Snowboarding” Campaign of Nokia N8

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Even though Nokia has in the past been a leader brand, they had to face strong competition from industry rivals, who produced disruptive technologies and began taking control of the market. Headquartered in Finland, Nokia lost their leadership position in the mobile market because they ceased to react to altering consumer needs on time, making them late participants in the smartphone market. At a time Nokia were in the process of improving their technologies to match trending customer needs, their main opponents Apple and Samsung had produced touchscreens, as well as better operating systems, that were way more technologically advanced. Customers considered Nokia’s operating system, Symbian, old fashioned as it did not allow third party apps like iOS and Android.
Despite belated reaction Nokia was able to develop innovative smartphones like the N8, which showed that they were not willing to lose ground to their competitors. The N8 is a smartphone that uses Nokia’s Symbian 3 operating system that was renovated to support third party applications and be compatible with touchscreen phones. The N8’s advantage over Apple’s iPhone, is its technical characteristics, which are the more technologically superior of the two. However, this was also a downside for the company, because the phone was extremely pricey to develop, and the company, therefore, had to rely on their marketing division to create awareness of the product in order to also achieve bigger sales. The marketers, therefore, had a duty to find ways to demonstrate the strong points of the N8 such as connectivity, processing power, and originality.
The marketing campaign can be said to have been a success as it was more advanced in all its key performance indicators. Their campaign was able to articulate the best qualities of the N8; its technological superiority, connectivity, and originality in design. The choice of the snowboarding community was an excellent one, as they were able to demonstrate the phone’s power, precision, and capabilities. In addition, by using a tool to track and compare the performances of different snowboarders, the marketers promoted Nokia’s slogan connecting people. They also chose the right media by making use of the increasingly popular social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, as well as traditional media like TV. They had a good understanding of their target audience, which can be seen in the way they chose to launch the marketing plan in events that include the US open and the Burton European snowboarding open, where they seized the opportunity to popularize their product (Dubois and Pal Kaur 5). Finally, Nokia achieved engagement through increased interaction between the new device and consumers by developing open source software for the device, so that developers could add features like snowboarding apps by programming the software code.
The key indicators of the campaign can be used to demonstrate how successful this campaign was. It reached a total of 249 million around the globe whereby 8.6 of this number were reached through Twitter, and another 36 million were reached through news on both online and press platforms. The campaign on Twitter page, “NOKIA PUSH”, had more than 5000 followers and 196 tweet favorites by followers (Dubois and Pal Kaur 6). There was a total of 35,000 hours of viewing of videos related to the campaign on YouTube. Results of a study carried out among 1000 participants showed that overall, the campaign led to a 3.25% improvement in brand preference as well as a 14% increase in device preference (Dubois and Pal Kaur 6). Even based on a media planning metrics, Nokia’s campaign can still be considered a success.
Table 1: Proposal Media Plan for Nokia “PUSH SNOWBOARDING” Campaign.
Net reach Average frequency Amount of exposures
Online 44 million 5 221 million
TV 249 million 2 498 million
Two sources of net population reach are considered in this plan; traditional TV advertising and online, which includes platforms such as YouTube Twitter and online press. According to this media plan, the net reach of the online platforms led to 221 million exposures with an average frequency of 5. The exposures from TV media also reached 490 million whereby the average frequency is 2 i.e. viewing the ads on TV twice.
The campaign was indeed a success as it was featured in music festivals like SXSW and the Cannes festival. The people behind the campaign were also awarded the Eurobest Digital Grand Prix for the originality of the content and ideas as well. If the company’s main goal was to increase awareness and engagement, the marketing action they adopted for the Nokia N8 was the best. However, it can be argued that the Finnish company did not focus on awareness.
Fierce competition from Apple and Samsung meant that the company had to respond and bring up their sales if they were to keep surviving. This launch was a great opportunity for them to recover the market share they had lost out to their main rivals. However, one of the main problems was that the campaign was designed to target only a tiny percentage of the potential customers. Although the use of the snowboarding community led to a significant increase in brand and device preference, many other people who were not part of this community were not affected or even reached. Only individuals with a passion for snowboarding would follow their twitter page or be interested in a YouTube video by Burton, or turn on their television sets to catch the Burton European Snowboarding Open. This was a major gap that translated into the dismal performance in sales as compared to Apple and Samsung. The N8 only sold 4 million units as compared to the 14 million units sold by Apple (Dubois and Pal Kaur 10).
The marketing team should have targeted the mass market. Some of the options they could have employed to reach the market include a coattails launch strategy, fanfare and keynote launch presentations. Keynote launch presentations involve having a live event where the company uses key influencers to reveal the product, there is a live demonstration, and live streaming (Dubois and Pal Kaur 6). The company also has to invest in the media so as to help promote the event. The advantage of this launch strategy is that the product is the main focus and its benefits are clearly articulated. A fanfare launch is when the product is revealed in a high profile event, mostly coinciding with a key seasonal even like Christmas.
This author, however, recommends that Nokia use the coattail strategy when launching its products. Their late entry into the smartphone market was a big disadvantage to the company as they could have had a better chance against Apple and Samsung if they had reacted and adapted earlier. Their campaign was a huge success, as shown by the proposal media plan, and granted them the chance of selling the N8 to a niche market of sports people. However, the coattails strategy could enable them to reach more people rather than target only the snowboarding and sports community. This strategy involves taking advantage of the power of positive association to increase the awareness, hence the sales of a product. They could hire a celebrity as their brand ambassador to headline the launch of their device and entry the smartphone market.
The case study shows that Nokia ran a successful marketing campaign for their new device the N8. The marketing team chose to use the snowboarding community to increase brand and device preference. The proposed media plan reveals that from a media planning metrics point of view, their campaign achieved huge success. However, their main undoing was the decision to use a small community that only raised awareness among sports people. This author recommends them to target the mass market by using coattail strategy to reach a wider audience.

Work Cited
Dubois, David, and Mastak Pal Kaur. The Nokia N8″Push Snowboarding” Campaign. INSEAD, 2015. Print.

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