CEO Stephen Elop has admitted the company has failed to compete in
the U.S. -- the U.S. agency brief, too, acknowledges Nokia's need
to "redefine relevancy of Nokia for U.S. consumers" -- and it's
begun to match ad spending in the expensive, smartphone race this
year. Between January and July, Nokia spent $20 million in measured
media, primarily toward its mid-market Astound smartphone, which
beat Samsung and Motorola media spending toward phones in that
period and was competitive with LG's $25 million, according to
As a last-ditch attempt to become relevant in the new world of
smartphones and platforms increasingly dominated by Apple and
Google, Nokia has a lot riding on the upcoming Windows Phone. As in
the past, focusing on Europe first appears to be the strategy.
"Nokia needs to protect its foothold in Europe before it can
even think about other markets," said one executive familiar with
the company's marketing. The Finnish company has traditionally
spent the bulk of its $200-million-plus global budget in Europe.
This summer, Nokia selected independent London shop Inferno Group
and parted ways with its longtime agency Wieden and Kennedy.
Inferno's campaign for Nokia's Windows Phone will launch this week,
likely at the London event where Mr. Elop is expected to unveil the
new device. Nokia declined comment for this story.
That commitment to Europe may also explain why, ahead of the
holidays, Microsoft's President-Windows Phone Andrew Lees touted
bigger marketing pushes from other manufacturers using its
software, such as Samsung and HTC Corp., in comments to Bloomberg this month. Last year,
Microsoft dedicated more than $57 million in U.S. measured media to
launch Windows Phone in the fourth quarter, according to Kantar,
but is opting for a multi-product holiday campaign featuring Xbox and
Windows Office alongside its mobile software this year.
Like Astound, which wasn't a blockbuster by any means, the 2012
Windows Phones in the U.S. are targeting first-time smartphone
buyers, according to the brief, as well as defectors from iPhone
and Android. By 2012, more than half of U.S. consumers are expected
to carry smartphones already.
There have also been some geographic shifts among Nokia's
marketing ranks, since its new American chief marketer Jerri
DeVard, who's clocked 25 years at U.S. companies such as Verizon,
Citigroup and Pillsbury, was installed. Ms. DeVard has moved from
the U.S. to London since taking the post, and stateside marketing
has shifted from White Plains, N.Y., to Sunnyvale, Calif. It's
unclear if the domestic move was to get closer to Microsoft, or the
Valley that grew leading U.S. smartphone leaders iPhone and