Demystifying Nokia Maps

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To promote Nokia U.K.'s new Maps application, a downloadable, all-in-one personal navigator featuring a voice-guided GPS tool, sports tracker and city guide, London agency Work Club devised online video how-tos and short films to break things down for the directionally-challenged.

"What we're faced with at the moment is a new product with [perhaps] a scary new technology," says Work Club creative director Ben Mooge. "If you have a new Nokia phone like I do [and download Maps], there are now two shortcuts on it. There's a button for SMS and a button for Maps. But until now, nobody's really explained either a) the benefits of Maps or b) how to use the bloody thing. As Nokia U.K.'s digital agency, our task was to explain in the simplest terms how this service works and how you would want to use it."

Work Club's site for Nokia Maps begins with five instructional videos, including an introductory how-to film directed by Ben Whitehouse of [email protected] and four other films helmed by Rattling Stick's Austen Humphries that feature a driver, walker, jogger and bicyclist explaining how Maps enhances their specific activity. As a counterpart to the humorous, informational video clips, Work Club's "Lost Characters" portion of the site treats visitors to five short films that center on lost protagonists including an alien, a guy in a chicken suit, a gang of pirates and a lonely Goth kid, who all use human personal navigators to reach their chosen destination. "Lost Characters [was based on] everyday situations that you could find yourself in, but obviously twisted with memorable characters," Mooge explains. "There were many human insights into [the five films]. Everyone's been lost in a strange city, knowing that your mate recommended you a restaurant or a bar to go into. Taking that human insight, we first made 'The Tourist' featuring a blue alien warlord who's down on Earth looking for a bar his friend recommended him, and then the 'Lost Chicken' who can't find his way to the chicken shop where he's supposed to be giving out flyers out front. The idea behind all the videos was that each personal navigator character served as a metaphor for the phone."

Aiming to provide entertainment value while conveying a sense of warmth, Work Club needed a more homemade, vintage look for the Lost Character pieces. The agency in turn enlisted British director Richard Ayoade, who specializes in Super 8 film-making. " When we're talking about new technology, everyone always goes really flashy, amazing and so 2008. If we're trying to simplify things, though, then let's talk about it in the simplest terms. So, the visual language should be as simple as the story is. It's impossible to hate or feel threatened by Super 8."

With only a few days of shooting time allotted for not just the Lost Characters films, but the instructional clips as well, Work Club had to work at a rapid pace to achieve the final product. "We had three different shoots going on pretty much one after another, as we wanted a different feel for each of them," Mooge says. "The instructional ones had to feel clear, simple and with a gentler comedy tone, whereas Richard's Super 8 films could be obviously more surreal and comedic because the way we were treating them was so old-fashioned and recognizable."

The digital campaign will run at least through year's end when Nokia is expected to unveil a Friend Finder option for Maps (which was previewed in the Goth kid film). "Basically, if your friend is in the area and you choose the map, they'll show up on your map and then [you both] can go somewhere together," Mooge explains. In the meantime, the Work Club CD is sticking to his agency's ethos and keeping things simple for this project. "Basically, [this campaign] is aimed at anyone who's ever been lost, wanted to find a restaurant or used Google Maps. Nokia Maps is all about personal navigation. It's not just a map; it's your map. So, you have to tell a really simple, benefit-driven story [around it]."
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