Circa 2008, Nokia sold software to the government of Iran to enable it to monitor phone calls, text messages and mobile internet usage. This software has been misused by the Iranian government to oppress its people (read more on our background page).
Reversing the Wave" is a 'Subvertisement' by American film maker Deena DeNaro, that brings Nokia's brand identity closer in alignment to its actions. In the style of Ad-Busters Magazine and the Yes Men it offers "Brand Identity Correction" for a corporation who has put profits above privacy and basic human rights.
In early June 2010 the spot above was entered in the MoFilm competition for the Cannes Lions TV Advertising Festival 2010, where the brief was to produce an innovative 60 second advertisement for Nokia. There was great surprise when the film was accepted by the competition and short-listed to compete for the finalist round. The film was withdrawn from the competition by posting it on this blog and instead was also projected onto the buildings of the Iranian Embassy in London, The UK Department of Trade & Industry and one of the shops of the biggest mobile phone seller in the UK, Carphone Warehouse. You can see these videos by clicking here or going to the 'Home' page on the 'Pages' menu on the right hand side of this page.
Nokia have now placed themselves in an awkward position of admitting that their actions were wrong in their dealings with the Iranian government, a message which echoes recent regrets over the matter from Nokia executives on the BBC World Service's Business Daily programme.
Initially we were approached to do a piece for any one of the competition's sponsors, however, Nokia's brief jumped out at us over all the others for the sheer inconsistencies between it's projected corporate values and it's actions. While we work a lot with advertising and branding, we feel it is troubling when companies think they can say one thing and do something else.
At DdB Media we don't believe that a corporation should be able to re-write history with marketing speak. It is very important that corporations get the message that the public will not blindly buy into branding marketing techniques as way to help cover up unethical business practices. Please donate to help Reverse the Wave change the trend of duplicitous advertising.
If you wish to stay updated with this campaign please please visit www.ReverseTheWave.com, join the Reverse The Wave Group on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @ReverseTheWave.