FILM OF IRAN SOFTWARE SCANDAL KNOCKS NOKIA
Nokia's brand image has taken a further hit after a sixty second 'subvertisement' scathing of Nokia's dealings with the government of Iran has been accepted into Nokia's own competition at the MoFilm Cannes Lions 2010 TV advertising contest.
The competition's official acceptance of the film, which has been made to mimic an advertisement for Nokia and features bloody scenes of the brutal crackdown by the Iranian government on its public last year, places Nokia in a very awkward position.
The creator of the video Deena DeNaro, one of the American principles at DdB Media said: "…the message is not in your face, so it can be missed; however, we were still shocked that the video was accepted as the film conveys a very negative message for Nokia; we do not know how it has happened."
Adbusters Magazine describes a "subvertisement" as "a film meant to mimic the look and feel of the targeted advertisement, promoting a classic 'double-take' as viewers suddenly realize they have been duped." Subvertisements use advertising's own strengths cut through the hype and glitz of our mediated reality and to reveal the deeper truth being glossed over. "We took Nokia's own words, their brief for the competition and we showed it a different way. We reminded the world that rather than “having a hand in the evolution of human communication”, Nokia’s technology aided a rogue regime which brutalizes its own innocent people." Ms. DeNaro said.
Not only does the subvertisement address the misalignment between what a corporation actually does and what it says it does, it has also been successful in challenging the notion of advertising itself. "This is as much a critique on the medium of advertising and branding as it is on Nokia; there are many people with more reasons and qualifications than myself to critique Nokia and the Iranian government, I came at this from and advertising/branding point of view.
Following acceptance into the competition, Ms. DeNaro was asked to sign a waiver of her rights to the film which she did not do. Instead, she arranged for the film to be projected large scale onto the buildings of the Iranian Embassy, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and a Carphone Warehouse shop in London. The footage of these projections can be seen on www.reversethewave.com Ms. DeNaro now intends to raise funding to show the film around the world. Tens of thousands are likely to see the film on the internet adding to the discomfort Nokia has felt over Iran which has included the boycott of its products by Iranians and others.