How tired is this blurb? “The website encourages users to congregate to exchange opinions, photos and links on fashion, gadgets, music, style, movies and cool hangouts, with vistors able to create their profiles.”
How many social networks can you attach it to? I guess Nokia thought that one more to the mix wouldn’t be too intrusive and thus… the world’s leading mobile phone supplier and a leading supplier of mobile and fixed telecom networks has launched a new social networking site, www.cool.nseries.com, touting it as China’s first online meeting point for the brand’s core twentysomething demographic, who are invited to post, discuss and argue about what’s cool or not…
Why is this a major development? because Nokia is melding Hand held devices/phones with social networks.
Here is the skinny:
Viral videos have been created to promote the site, produced by One Production and shot by Beijing director Wuershan. The videos feature MC Farmer, a real-life farmer who offers his take on the origins of hip-hop.
The videos have been uploaded to various video-sharing sites, including YouTube, Tudou and 6.cn, and have already generated significant interest online to the extent that it has taken on a virtual life of its own, attracting more than 900,000 views in its first week.
The campaign, from independent agency Eight Partnership, had launched virally just one week ago and has spread around China ‘s biggest video sites including 56.com, sina.com, YouTube China and has even made its way onto Chinese TV network Jiangsu.
The official launch of Ncool does not kick off until early December, but already a number of plans are in place to capitalize on the viral campaign’s popularity.
A key element on the site will be the ‘Battle for cool’, challenging users to compete and vote to rank coolness. The topic for battle is chosen each month by well-known personalities. Further engagement will be driven by exclusive one-to-one video interviews with the celebrities.
The website has been extended into a WAP portal, allowing users to upload cool findings directly from their mobile phones, as well as preview the monthly winners. It is this aspect that has the most potential in my opinion. The ability for this demographic to actively engage their devices with the social network will be the aspect with the most potential and upside. A key element however, will be intuitiveness and ease of use.
Overall, The site is designed to promote Nokia’s N-series range of phones, and there will be an exclusive NSeries user section on the WAP site to reward existing Nokia phone holders.
To that end, Nokia hopes to extend the viral community aspects and inclinations of the 20 something demo to the extent they will find a depth of involvement with their peer group as it pertains to their Nseries phones, like no other social network.
Why is this important? Because Nokia is melding social networks with their phones. And they are launching with what seems to work best. Viral Marketing. The problem is, what happens when the viral marketing buzz is over with MC Farmer? I have repeatedly seen numbers drop off significantly after a viral marketing campaign but… I believe Nokia will be looking at who is left standing after the campaign and then concentrating on retaining those individuals. To that end Nokia has mentioned that it will follow this campaign with other marketing campaigns to leverage the spike in attention.
I think it’s important for not only heftier social networks to take note of this, but also the smaller more niche based networks who are ven more dependent on their core users. Why? Becauseall of them will need to determine what and how they can create relevance and value to the core users as they attempt to mesh mobile devices with their networks. The larger networks can cut deals, but the smaller networks are going to need help. Nokia had the advantage of building the social network around their N series of devices. Other social networks do not have that advantage and it might ultimately be their undoing.