Hey Nokia, It’s Okay to Make Fun of Yourself

I love when a brand has a sense of humor.  It’s wonderful to see the entertaining side of marketing – when it’s done right.

Which is why I’m disappointed that Nokia pulled down its music video, Dev City, which was created to promote its upcoming developer conference, as soon as it was panned by TechCrunch, The Next Web, and so on.

Nokia has been receiving some great reviews for the Lumia 900 lately, given what you get for under $100.  Last week, even Apple’s virtual personal assistant Siri was telling the world that the Lumia 900 was the best smartphone ever.

For a moment I thought Nokia was being consistent in its branding efforts, first bringing Nikki Minaj for the launch, and now this video. However, taking it down at the first sign of criticism and being unresponsive shows otherwise and is bad PR practice.

On the other hand, kudos to the rappers in the video, Calgary’s own Cory Smith (@smixx) and Christian Maclean (@fourslice) of Decoder, for being quick to respond and apologizing for unintentionally hurting anyone.  Cory and Christian are great community guys and have a played big part in creating the tech startup ecosystem in Calgary.

TechCrunch named this campaign “the worst thing on the internet” and I can see why.  Yes, some parts of the video might have been in poor taste and some might argue that Rack City is not a song you want to parody.  But I found it quite funny and entertaining, for the same reason I like Lonely Island.  At the end of the day, if it resonates with the target customer, then there’s nothing wrong.  If it alienates them, well that’s another story.

Below is the Dev City video on popular demand.  I’ll let the readers be the judge.