Shift Introduces Nokia’s Hip-Hop Phone

DALLAS Shift Advertising breaks a spot promoting the Nokia Black Phone tomorrow that is aimed at making the device a must have among those who enjoy hip-hop music, the shop said.

The spot from The Richards Group subsidiary focuses on the limited-edition design of the company’s 3300 music phone that includes a preloaded version of hip-hop artist Jay-Z’s Black Album, which was released in November. The phone, which supports digital music players, FM radio and messaging, also has Jay-Z ring tones and updated messages from the performer. Nokia made the phone available today in Sam Goody and Media Play retail outlets.

The artist himself does not appear in the spots due to scheduling conflicts, said Terence Reynolds, principal and creative director of the Dallas-based shop. “We went from concept to completion in less than a month and it was almost virtually impossible [to include the celebrity]. We explored it, but it wasn’t something we found would be absolutely necessary.”

The 30-second spot, which targets an urban audience between 18- and 24-years-old, begins with a stylish twenty-something walking down the street listening to tunes from his Black Phone and singing along. As he does, a voiceover describes features of the phone: “Nokia’s new Black Phone and MP3 player comes preloaded with Jay-Z’s Black Album, so you get the phone, Jay’s style and even his skills.” When he walks into a quiet cafe and begins to dance, the music of the spot stops to show the effect of the man singing loudly to the blank stares from the patrons around him. Narrator: “Yeah, well, you get the phone.” The spot ends with a product shot.

The TV spot will run nationally on BET, MTV and MTV2. Radio will run in eight spot markets, including Atlanta, Chicago and New York.

Campaign spending is undisclosed. The cellular telephone manufacturer, whose regional headquarters are in Irving, Texas, spent about $35 million on domestic ads last year, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

General-market incumbent The Richards Group has declined to participate in a review Nokia has launched for its creative duties.