This new Nokia N-Gage viral is sizzling through the interw3b. The general idea is at least 50 years old, but Swedish director Hobby and agency Farfar have taken it to new heights—quite literally in the case of the levitating cheerleader.
If you look a little beyond the surface, the ad is rife with contradictions. The plea to “get out and play” is actually an invitation to use your mobile gaming device while in a location other than your home or office. The viral drives its viewers to the Get Out and Play website, which features the advert in various social-network-friendly formats—the distribution of which would require spending more time on your computer and more time indoors.
While the messaging seems conflicted, however, it’s all perfectly orchestrated under the auspices of branding. This “short film” is aimed with laser precision at the N-Gage demographic, which just so happens to overlap nicely with sites like Motionographer, whose readers, by and large, will find this video worthy of a couple minutes of their time. The actual content of the video, i.e. people playing a game of Snake in the sunshine, is largely irrelevant. It’s the mode of presentation—an over-the-top application of nostalgic 8-bit music and stop-motion silliness—that work in Nokia’s favor.
Although it may sound like it, I’m not being cynical. I like advertising. It shows us just how susceptible we humans are to story and novelty. It’s a reminder of our ancient tendencies to visually communicate in order to persuade the rest of the tribe. “Come, look at my paintings in the cave. See these buffalo? They’re just beyond the mountains in the east. They are the biggest, juiciest buffalo you have ever seen…”
Thanks to Shannon for the tip on both the Nokia advert and the Norman McLaren film!