Ad of the Day: Nokia

Wieden channels Lady Gaga in dancing-dolls video for the pink N8 phone

Headshot of Emma Bazilian

Wieden + Kennedy London brought in director David Wilson to create a promo for Nokia's N8 phone, featuring dolls dancing to girl group Sugababes' song "Freedom." Wilson has had ample experience with high-concept music videos for bands like the Japanese Popstars, and it shows: The Nokia spot is a lot less Barbie than it is Lady Gaga.

As the video opens, we're introduced a harmless-looking doll with a cute blond flip. A few seconds later, the video cuts to a second doll, and things are clearly getting darker: This one is standing naked in a dilapidated room, covered in an eerily blowing white sheet. Next there's a pop-star-meets-Lady-Godiva doll reclining provocatively on a pink deer (also naked, which seems to be a theme), and then our first doll again, who suddenly snaps her head around 180 degrees, Exorcist-style, as a thumping bass begins. At this point, it's clear this isn't your typical girly-girl affair, pink phone or not. Jump cuts take us from shot to shot of giant video-monitor-covered walls, Nokia-tattooed plastic skin, and dismembered doll legs—all slightly twisted and very sexually charged, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that these stars are really children's toys.

The dance sequences, for which Wieden hired actual choreographers, could give most pop stars a run for their money. In one particularly Gaga-esque bit, a trio of gyrating dolls shoot laser beams from their bras, which happen to be made of N8 phones held together with phone cord—perhaps an homage to the Queen of Pop's own pioneering of phone-chic in her "Telephone" video. The spot might not give us anything we haven't seen in a Lady Gaga video (even the music isn't far off), but it manages to capture the same dark yet fiercely feminine aesthetic that her work conveys. And for a mobile-phone ad starring a bunch of plastic toys, that's impressive.

Client: Nokia
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London
Spot: "Freedom"
Creatives: Oli Beale, Alex holder
Agency Producers: Danielle Stewart, Rob Steiner, Helen Whiteley
Production Co: BlinkInk
Director: David Wilson
Producer: James Stevenson Bretton
Photography: Catherine Derry
Editing Company: Cut + Run
Editor: James Rose
Post Production: Munky

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.