Can YouTube Help Make Nokia's Smartphone Cool?

Also-Ran Handset Hopes for Big October Launch

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Nokia's N8, the manufacturer's ploy to crack the U.S. smartphone market, is seeing early signs that it can grab some attention from Apple, Google and RIM's Blackberry. Well, on YouTube at least. A video for the new smartphone, set to launch in late October after delays, debuts on the Viral Video Chart at number four.

The video comes from viral heavyweight Wieden & Kennedy, easily the chart's most dominant agency, with hits like Old Spice's Isaiah Mustafa and Nike's "Write the Future" under its belt. And it looks like Nokia will need every ounce of Wieden's magic. Despite its position as global smartphone leader, Nokia isn't even a part of the smartphone conversation in the U.S., which is dominated by early entrants iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

But internet success alone might not be enough to tip the scales -- the market leaders not only enjoy a head start, but the backing of mobile service carriers with notoriously deep pockets. Verizon and AT&T are the Nos. 2 and 3 U.S. advertisers, according to Ad Age DataCenter, and back Google's Android and RIM's BlackBerry respectively. Meanwhile N8 has no carrier partner to back its marketing efforts. Microsoft, too, is readying one of its biggest budget campaigns this holiday season for its newest smartphone operating system, Windows Mobile 7.

Another mobile manufacturer, Sony Ericsson, also made its first appearance this week, a sure sign mobile marketers are starting to vie for coveted spots on wish lists this upcoming holiday season. This phone, Xperia X10, runs Android and is available on AT&T. While Wieden opted for robots and hamster-powered cell chargers in a frenetic montage for Nokia showing off what people all over the world have rigged up with its phones, digital agency Dare forgoes the tech wizardry we so often see in smartphone ads (see: Verizon Droid spots) and goes for easy laughs at the expense of dumb blonds. This installment in the "Product Testing Institute" campaign brings up the rear at number ten.

Meanwhile, tricked-out sneakers, half-dressed women and balls jokes continue to capture the largest share of the internet's attention. Topping the chart for the second week running, DC Shoes' "Gymkhana Three," while maintaining a healthy lead, is losing some momentum, dropping 30% to 4.4 million weekly views. Though its predecessor "Gymkhana Two" has been granted a second wind, gaining a couple spots to number six, most likely thanks to the success of the most recent effort. With Megan Fox in her skivvies, Armani crept up toNo. 2 this week, while Axe's "Clean Your Balls" fake infomercial on cleaning pairs of sports equipment surged to the third spot. Thanks BBH for that too-long shot of the tight-shirted host fondling a pair of golf balls.

Last Week Brand Campaign Agency Current Week Views* % Change in Views** Watch the Spot
1 1 DC Shoes Gymkhana Three In-house 4,401,704 -32% DC Shoes: Gymkhana Three
2 3 Emporio Armani Hotel Service In-house 1,832,917 -26% Armani: Hotel Service
3 7 Axe Clean Your Balls BBH 1,222,134 -8% Axe: Clean Your Balls
4 New Nokia It's What You Do With It Wieden & Kennedy 1,089,263 New Nokia: It's What You Do With It
5 2 Samsung Use Your Influence The Viral Factory 1,080,630 -62% Samsung: Use Your Influence
6 9 DC Shoes Gymkhana Two In-house 1,055,571 5% DC Shoes: Gymkhana Two
7 5 Tipp-Ex Hunter Shoots a Bear Buzzman 924,654 -46% Tipp-Ex: Hunter Shoots a Bear
8 Back on Chart Evian Live Young BETC Euro RSCG 844,511 Back on Chart Evian: Live Young
9 8 Geico Really Save The Martin Agency 758,919 -36% Geico: Really Save
10 New Sony Ericsson Product Testing Institute Dare 751,274 New Sony Ericsson: Product Testing Institute
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