Portable Parables Unfold

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If you found somebody else's phone, would you dare look at it? The question serves as the premise of Wieden + Kennedy, London's new integrated "Supernova" campaign for Nokia.

Launched today, the voyeuristic initiative focuses on three fictional characters—Anna, Luca and Jade—a group of hipster types that relish the social life and capture their every move on their Nokia 7610 handsets. But rather than keep their activities private, W+K has unveiled a microsite to tell the stories of these mobile-obsessed characters through the text/video messages in each of their phones. "The microsite is basically the hub of all the [campaign] activity that's going on," says W+K, London digital producer Clemens Brandt. "It's nothing more than a tool to consume the story, though there was a lot of effort put into this microsite so that the audience could understand it immediately."

Visitors can view the evolving messages, music and contact lists in Anna, Luca and Jade's phones and basically keep up with their stories in real-time. To achieve this, W+K, London is feeding content 24/7 into the microsite to further the tales, which will unfold over six weeks. Along with the microsite, W+K added another layer of interaction by creating Facebook pages for the protagonists. "What we're doing to make this as real as possible is the three characters have profiles. The most interesting function of it is that you can communicate with them in real-time on Facebook. You can write a post and whenever the character's supposed to be on Facebook, they will reply to you."

Seeing as the microsite content is being constantly updated, those paying attention will know immediately when a new text message or even an occasional phone call is received. "Whenever a character gets a message—this happens in real-time—you can sit there all day if you want and wait for new messages to come in," says Brandt. "You'll hear a typical text message beep. With the calls, we hint people before the call comes in the emails and a couple of the text messages [on the site]. The phone actually rings and you can listen to the call."

While the 60-second TV spot is already in rotation and print ads are set to be unveiled, the digital component is still the driving force of "Supernova." With banner ads being launched on (yet-to-be-revealed) lifestyle sites, W+K has already launched a widget to further involve the audience in the stories. "Since a lot of people spend 1-2 hours on Facebook everyday," says Brandt, "we want to give them a chance to experience the microsite, so we basically created a miniature version. You can grab the widget and [embed] it into your MySpace or Facebook page, iGoogle or blog. All of your friends will see that you follow this story and they can add it to their Facebook page, so then we can create this viral effect."

Before the Supernova effort winds down in the first week of December, W+K will unveil 3750 different pieces of mobile media content. As the storylines draw to a close, visitors can interact and help influence the ending for each character, who will be facing crucial life decisions. While the promotional aspect is obviously important, Brandt says it's the story-driven approach that ultimately counts with this Nokia campaign. "Our goal was to make it as close to what our audience is doing these days. We don't just want to collect hits; we want people to enjoy the story. So, we think this is a way better approach than putting up billboards everywhere. We want to communicate with the audience in their channels."

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