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Best & Brightest Special Report: Rieger rewrites the rules for wireless giant Nokia

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Seven-year b-to-b ad veteran Julie Rieger was asked to do only one thing for client Nokia Corp., but that one thing wasn't going to be easy. She was asked to rewrite the rules, which meant creating new and innovative ways to market directly to Nokia's mobile Internet customers by moving beyond traditional strategies while keeping within the budget.

Inspired by this outside-the-box edict, Rieger's team at Carat Freeman, San Francisco, worked to reach customers in unique ways.

Rieger was able to convince the famously stodgy Wall Street Journal to bend its stringent rules on ad placements and sizes. To get Nokia's message noticed within the pages of the business publication, Rieger created partial two-page spreads that bled across the paper's pages. The Journal had never allowed such so-called "shutter ads" before, and few readers couldn't help but notice Nokia's unique positioning. "We changed the familiar landscape of the paper," said Rieger, 31. "It was about getting real estate and creating a visual impact."

Another place Rieger wanted Nokia to be was right in front of its key customers, so she put ads outside corporate offices worldwide. "We call it 'out-of-office' instead of outdoors," said Rieger. "Or OOF, for short." Not only was OOF a fun new buzzword at Nokia, it was a targeted approach that really worked.

OOF was so successful, Rieger's team modifiedthe strategies for the Internet. Stretching the traditional definition of a banner ad, the team created interstitials that popped up on screen and allowed viewers to interact with the ad content. Rieger called the "larger-than-life" banner ads "virtual painted walls" that she said are better able to hold a user's attention amid the clutter of cyberspace.

In an increasingly media-soaked world, Rieger said, such OOF-inspired thinking is crucial to getting clients' messages noticed. But she warns that creating eye-popping advertisements alone won't do that. Every campaign must start and end with one objective in mind: getting results.

"People's media habits are much more fragmented than ever before," she said. "Sometimes you have to give up being flashy for results. It's all about what the clients want to achieve."

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