Richards Bows Nokia Picture-Messaging Phone

In a new television spot for Nokia’s 7210, a man messages a friend for help when he is unable to explain what he’s looking for in a Hong Kong market. She sends him a computer j-peg image of a toilet via the phone, which translates what he needs perfectly.

The Richards Group in Dallas created the commercial to showcase the soon-to-be-released phone, the first model the client will sell domestically with picture messaging and a color screen.

“The idea behind the strategy is interesting people tend to do interesting things with Nokia’s more intuitive technology,” said agency creative group head Chuck Schiller. “Nokia’s customer tends to be a little more savvy, a little cooler.”

The spot will run on national network and cable programming.

The 30-second ad broke last night during ABC’s Alias and Fox’s 24. A 60-second spot also broke on Alias, though the longer version is not expected to appear again. Both shows featured product placement as well, a marketing tool Nokia has used since 1995.

The independent agency’s creative team chose to shoot the commercial in a Hong Kong market for its color and plausibility as a place where visitors who do not speak Chinese could have trouble communicating.

A concluding voiceover describes the product, but the actual conversations between the American and the marketplace vendors cannot be heard; instead, music plays in the background. “It doesn’t really need sound because it’s a visual product,” Schiller said.

The spot targets early adopters of technology, but is more heavily fo-cused on those who understand the features’ subtleties and will actually purchase the product, said Nokia vice president of marketing for North and South America Matt Wisk. The “sweet spot” for the advertising could be as narrow as people ages 25 to 30, he said.

Nokia’s North and South American headquarters are located in Irving, Texas.