The Pomegranate Phone: Dialing Up Interest In Nova Scotia

Introducing the Pomegranate Phone: A mobile phone, mp3 player, gps system, internet, global voice translator, camera, video player, movie projector, coffee brewer, razor and harmonica in one!

Okay, before you get too excited and start scouring the net for release dates, tech specs and availability, it's not an actual product but an ad campaign ruse launched on October 1st, 2007.

A well-produced false product introduction complete with hilarious video vignettes by Journeyman Films, tech specs, accessories and more, this micro site is a wily subterfuge to introduce you to Nova Scotia's Come To Life tourism campaign, positioning the province as the venue that has a lot to offer.

The micro site is impressively designed and filled with all the demos and charts you'd expect from an actual tech product introduction. Even the voice over and music (by Windom Earle) are great.

However, marketing critics are calling the campaign a bust. (Update: this post has consistently been the most widely read and searched for post on my blog since this campaign broke and still is one full year later - editor)

Jeff White of Brightwhite says:

"Viral marketing is great, but the fact that Nova Scotia taxpayers have spent $300,000 to foot the bill for this campaign is a shame. Next to no one will have any idea that this even is a site about Nova Scotia. And those that do find this more or less hidden link feel cheated.
So, even though lots of people will forward the site to their friends, very few will get to the true nature of what it's trying to say and that makes this a very expensive experiment. You only need to read what people are saying on Twitter to see that the general opinion is that this campaign bombs."

It's even been deemed the Pombomb by tweeters.

Nevertheless, I applaud Novia Scotia for trying something bold and new and without all the actual media placement info, et cetera, I, personally, will refrain from hypothesizing about why it may or may not have succeeded. Besides, it's too soon to tell and I have yet to locate actual stats as far as visitors, etc.

But I will show you some screen grabs, because whether or not the site is driving interest in Nova Scotia, it deserves kudos for imaginative thinking, clever copy, nice design and wonderful videos.

As a coffee maker:

As a razor or shaver:

As a movie projector:

As a voice translator:

As a harmonica:

They even included faux 'goodies' such as a a lucite holder, speaker system and t-shirts:

If you don't respect it as an attempt to be a 'viral' campaign (which, by the way, is not something you can set out to do, but instead a campaign may become 'viral' if one is lucky), at least take a look at it for entertainment.

credits: The campaign was produced by Bristol Group, Egg Films/Hatch, and Breathe Media.

* Art Director: Dan Couto
* Copy writer/creative director: Albert Ianni
* Production Manager: Collette Snow
* Designers: Andrew Grantham, Michael Gatto
* Internal Programmer: Melissa Castle
* External programmers/designers: Breathe Media
* Production/Post: Egg Films/Hatch Post
* Actors/Models: Christopher Killam, Lita Lewellen, John Beale, Laura Bleasdale, Andrea Wilson, Pasha, and others

Special thanks to Alex Asher Sears!

The Pomegrante Phone

If you are a fan of clever 'misdirects', you'll love the TATTOO YOUR HEART site for the launch of Vikunja. See that here.


Boost Ventilator said...

Speaking of marketing...

Here is a link to Windom Earle's site ;)

Limitbreaker said...

I think it's a great idea that is clearly generating interest and buzz (what it was meant to do), and it's a shame that the local social media clique has decided to tromp on it with silly tweets or twitter tags because it's not to their liking.

Anonymous said...

The Pomegranate Phone page is smart, very well-designed, funny, and.... simply BRILLIANT.

Anonymous said...

I think it is brilliant. I guess the people who dislike it must be so bummed that there actually isn't a phone to purchase. Some people are just too serious. I tip my hat to the advertising idea and the people of Nova Scotia.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a poorly executed campaign and fails to effectively communicate the message.

Nothing like hiding your message behind a fake product.

As for limitbreaker hasn't your day pass from the NS been revoked yet? I understand Limitbreaker's company worked on the campaign, hence his biased opinion.

adverlicious said...

Clever! It's apparently effective since they now (01/2009) have online ads supporting the site. Check 'em out:

Pomegranate "Where No Phone Has Gone Before" 300x250

Anonymous said...

The ad is very misleading and has convinced me to stay away Nova Scotia. If they are tricking people to get their attention, I can on imagine what they do in the city.

Anonymous said...

Um....Nova Scotia is not a city.


JC said...

Actually I like this concept and it did work on me because I find myself wanting to know more about Nova Scotia, however the first time I went to the add I didn't click on I've had enough. I just closed the site and never knew it was about Nova Scotia though I of course knew it was a joke. Only when I looked it up on Wikipedia did I find the link.

The link to Nova Scotia should appear no matter what path the user follows.

Anonymous said...

I discovered what's behind the phone via some google searching and finding this blog. So obviously, it must be working, at least it did for me. It's definitely out of the box, which implants the idea, even subconsciously, that Nova Scotia is a pretty cool place.

liljames23 said...

I hear all this hype about this phone but nothing on price, HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUY!!!

Laura Sweet said...

if you bothered to read any of the post on this blog, you'd realize IT'S NOT A REAL PHONE.

Anonymous said...

I honestly thought Nova Scotia was a corporate the this phone is a great product of theirs !!

Until i was trying to search for a price for the product and came across this blog that i have realized that just an ad campaign :(

Nova Scotia you ruined my dream of owning the dream phone !!

but i loved the websites and all the packaging of the campaign !! :D
and it makes me want to visit Nova Scotia ...

Anonymous said...

this shit is amazing! i wish it were for real though!! could u like actually produce it.. im sure poeple will definitely buy it!!!!!!!!!!! its wicked! i totally love it!

C'mon people, it's only a dollar.