As a new wrinkle for its ongoing sponsorship of ABC’s Sugar Bowl, Nokia is tapping into the comedic talents of Jimmy Kimmel with an on-field halftime quiz that touts its Nokia 3650 digital-camera phone.
Nokia worked with Omnicom Group’s The Marketing Arm, a sports and entertainment marketing outfit of the holding company’s Diversified Agency Services unit, to create a contest intended as a mass product demonstration for the Jan. 1 game.
Mr. Kimmel, whose new late-night talk show is poised to launch on ABC, will introduce the game, in which contestants will be shown college football images from the past and will be asked to identify the schools in the pictures for prizes. ESPN announcers Joe Theismann and Rich Eisen will also take part in the segment. A 15-foot facsimile of the Nokia camera phone with a plasma screen will display the football images.
“Voice communications are certainly something that we all are comfortable with, but visual communications are the next generation of the way we communicate and this contest dramatically illustrates that,” said Matt Wisk, Nokia VP of marketing, North and South America.
According to Taylor Nelson Sofres’ CMR, Nokia spent $35.5 million on advertising in 2001; from January through September 2002 the marketer spent nearly $21 million.
Under the stewardship of Mr. Wisk, Nokia became an early and active participant in the area of branded content and integration. Along with its long-running sponsorship of the Sugar Bowl, the U.S. arm of the Finland-based wireless provider has orchestrated high-profile product integration deals, including in MGM Distribution Co.’s James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies.”
More recently, the brand reaped praise for its integration into an episode of ABC’s “Alias” last season.