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Nokia 3650

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Nokia Corp. has been in the thick of the revolution that brought cellular communications into American lives. Early this year, the Finnish telecom giant stoked demand for a product the gadget-mad, but recession-hammered, U.S. public hadn't seen before-the Nokia 3650, a mobile phone with digital camera.

The challenge fell to Quyen Nguyen, a 10-year sales and marketing veteran with a resume containing stints at Campbell Soup Co. and a Texas law firm. The 31-year-old Ms. Nguyen developed a campaign heavy on showing, not telling.

"We learned [from market research] that once we show how easy it is to take a picture-in just two clicks-people get it, love it and they want to buy it," says Ms. Nguyen, who holds the title of senior product launch manager.

Last January's Nokia Sugar Bowl football contest in New Orleans became the launching pad for the 3650 in North America. In 21/2 minutes during halftime, Nokia demonstrated the phone on the playing field with contestants engaging in a trivia game. Soon after that, the company dispatched Nokia demonstrators (dubbed "buzz teams") to the stores of distribution partners AT&T Corp., Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile USA. At special events, Nokia reps snapped would-be customers' pictures, obtained e-mail addresses and sent the images to their digital in-boxes. Nokia also managed to integrate the 3650 into Fox Broadcasting's "American Idol," a match for the camera phone's 18-to-35-year-old target audience.

The plan is working. According to Boston-based Strategy Analytics, camera phones outsold digital still cameras worldwide, for the first time ever, in the first half of 2003.

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