I came across a pre launch party for the Nokia N97 in Cologne. It was one of only 4 locations in Germany where the device was being introduced. Since I am currently visiting our German office and was in town we decided to swing by.
We are heading toward the Nokia store and noticed a decent crowd outside. At least half of them were promoters wearing t-shirts and holding banners or signs. Most of them looked rather bored, sat on the sidewalk or smoked cigarettes. None of them approached me.
We were there at 5:30 PM and you could imagine that these guys were tired. But the event only started at 5PM. Hard to believe that 30 minutes could have been so exhausting. It also wasn’t just a bad moment or another mandatory break for them. We walked by the store again an hour later the chill out party was still going on.
Here or some images to further illustrate a little bit:
Ok, we didn’t come to check out the promoters but the new toy. A red carpet and two bouncers made for a classy entry to the store. I was curious to play with it and see how it compares to the iPhone or the G1. I thought we might have April fools day. We looked around in the store and couldn’t see the phone anywhere. Eventually we found someone playing with it. It turned out that this was the only N97 in the entire store. Of course most people had the same expectation like us and left the store highly disappointed.
For the most time one of the Nokia employees held the device and tried to explain how to handle it. It was a bit unfortunate that his fingernails could have use a little manicure. You can’t help to notice chewed off finger nails when someone is demonstrating a touch screen.
Here are some pictures of the only N97 in town:
I shook my head for a few seconds but then I started laughing. For marketing professionals it is pretty hard to believe how much they fumbled the ball here.
Here would be some suggestions for the next Nokia Pre-launch:
- Nokia clients have been waiting for a long time to see an innovative product that can take on the most popular smart phones. I little more effort to show that you are serious about catching up in this race would have been a good signal.
- This wouldn’t necessarily mean spending more $$$ but being a bit being a little more passionate and creative.
- 10 motivated promoters are better than 50 guys looking to have an after hours party.
- Use the money you save on the above to get a ton of phones into the store so everyone gets to touch it without waiting in a long line.
- Contact us and ask to speak with Klaus or Felix Holzapfel. Our team will make sure that your next prelaunch or launch will hit the blogosphere again. But this time in a more positive way ;-)
A big student protest took place in Cologne this week. It is sad to say that it was much better organized than the introduction of a very important device for one of the leading mobile phone manufacturers in one of their key markets.
I sincerely hope that this was just a one time mishap. Nokia wouldn’t be where they are today if they’d always fumble the ball like this.
And no: This is not another attempt to get a free N97 and write a review ;-)
As for typos:
Wordpress tells me no misspelling found. They are always right ;-)