Nokia recently tried their hand at a social media teaser campaign for a new product they were about to launch. Attempting to emulate giants like Apple and Google didn't seem to go all that well for the Finnish company, though.
Nokia Was Up to Something
The former handset manufacturer - Nokia recently sold their handset unit to Microsoft - tweeted a teaser that featured a black box with the company logo engraved on it. The ad came with the headline "18.11.14 - We're up to something."
Now, whoever came up with the idea in Nokia's marketing department probably wasn't expecting the world's reaction at all. Instead of every social media network and blog being atwitter with curiosity, with fans frothing at the mouth to discover what new product Nokia could possibly be launching, what they got was a cold dose of reality.
Nokia is no longer a relevant brand.
Certainly not nearly as relevant as Apple, for example. Had Apple done the same thing - which they have on previous occasions - social media networks would have exploded with everyone and their grandmother speculating on what Apple would be announcing.
However, other than a few mentions on hi-tech blogs, the "buzz" died out quickly. Instead of people wondering "what could it be?", they were simply moving on with a shrug and a "who cares?"
And then they made their announcement, which wasn't as earth-shattering as their teaser made it out to be. Nokia launched a $249 7.9-inch, Android-based tablet. And no, the internet was not on fire with people ordering the tablet the second it launched.
The True Mystery behind Nokia's Teaser Campaign
The real mystery is what was Nokia's marketing department thinking? It seems rather obvious that they're still stuck in the "good old days" when Nokia was one of the world's leading handset manufacturers. Had they attempted this type of campaign then, they would have likely gotten the reaction they were expecting.
But after Nokia lost so much of their market share and shrank to become a small fish in a massive ocean, it's no surprise their campaign didn't generate any buzz at all.
It actually makes you wonder if someone in Nokia's marketing campaign is so enamored with social media marketing that they thought all they had to do was launch a teaser to get people interested. This clearly shows a lack of real understanding for the driving inertia behind viral marketing campaigns.
Other brands have been successful because they have cultivated social media presences and understand that the key to success is long-term engagement. You can't just show up today, launch a teaser tomorrow, and expect fireworks. It takes time and effort to build your brand, to build a fan base and to get people on your side.
Then again, maybe Nokia has a secret strategy. Maybe their goal really is to show us how not to do social media. Or any kind of promotion for that matter.
Don't Tease If You Can't Deliver
Nokia isn't the only company guilty of using teaser campaigns and having them backfire. At least in Nokia's case it was merely a case of "no one cares."
Other attempts have resulted in serious backlash from consumers, such as the "Hello Friend" campaign Bright House ran a few years ago, which generated lots of buzz but completely backfired because the "product" didn't meet expectations.
Many teaser campaigns fail because the buzz that is created around the product is so great that the product rarely meets expectations.
Companies like Apple, Facebook and Google don't succeed just because they're big brands. They succeed because they constantly over-deliver. They tease, but they deliver. And because they have consistently delivered great products and services, people are more than willing to forgive them a small blunder.
In Nokia's case, though, they haven't delivered in a long time. They've made promises but have done little to back them up. And they have faded from people's minds. They have well and truly lost their fans and it's going to be a long time before they can recover, especially since their deal with Microsoft states they can't sell smartphones under the Nokia brand until 2016.
So, until Nokia can rebuild its fan base by delivering quality products, the company is better off sticking to more traditional marketing strategies that don't include being a tease and not delivering.