Rihanna Gives Voice to Nokia’s New Push

Nokia is partnering with Rihanna to promote its new X6 phone and other entertainment offerings. The R&B singer and her label, Island Def Jam Music Group, Universal Music Group International, will be helping kick off Nokia’s new Nokia Play 2010 campaign while promoting Rihanna’s new album, Rated R. The partnership includes a live streaming concert, exclusive music offerings and a mobile application.

The Nokia Play 2010 campaign will focus on the new touchscreen Nokia X6, which the company is promoting as an entertainment device ideal for playing music and video, as well as its pay-per-track Nokia Music Stores and unlimited Comes With Music service.

The concert, taking place in London on Nov. 16, will be broadcast across Nokia mobile music, video and online at www.nokia.com/rihanna. To encourage fan participation, Nokia will be streaming the videos that attendees take on their Nokia X6 phones and will be sponsoring user-initiated local listening parties, where consumers gather together with friends to enjoy concert experiences at-home.

In addition to the live concert event, Nokia will be offering an exclusive version of Rihanna’s new album, Rated R. It will feature a bonus track, a remix and a Rihanna mobile application, available on Nokia’s Ovi Store. The singer will be integrated into Nokia’s broader marketing campaign and appear in a range of advertising materials, though details are still being finalized.

“It’s a broad campaign. We tend to do very 360 marketing, touching all the points—digital, retail, outdoor and TV–and this will follow that,” said Liz Schimel, the global head of music for Nokia. “We are thrilled to be working with her. She’s excited about it personally, she’s very innovative, cutting-edge, fresh, young, exciting, global celebrity and she has enormous pull around the world. She’s truly a global superstar.”

But Schimel emphasized that while Rihanna is launching the campaign, Nokia Play 2010 will extend over a long period of time and incorporate other entertainment celebrities and experiences as it continues.

Nokia spent $6 million on advertising in 2008 and $5 million in the first eight months of 2009, per the Nielsen Co.

“This campaign will give great value to our existing customers as well as be a tremendous driver for exciting new consumers around our services and our new X6 device,” said Schimel. “We believe this sets a new bar for how to connect artists and fans and experiences on an ongoing basis.”