A Nokia fan set out to prove what the red-faced Finnish phone maker has seemed to back away from, after a botched marketing effort resulted in a public apology.
In August, ahead of the launch of Windows Phone 8 and the introduction of the Lumia 920, Nokia posted a video to build excitement for the Lumia launch event. In it, a pretty, young woman on a bicycle smiles and flirts with what is insinuated to be a person on a bicycle opposite hers. The idea was to show off the PureView image-stabilization technology in the Nokia Lumia 920 and its ability to shoot smooth footage where others might produce something unwatchably bumpy.
A Verge writer with good eyes, however, noticed a shadow behind the woman, showing a van with a crew and a cameraman holding something definitely other than a Lumia 920.
"In an effort to demonstrate the benefits of optical image stabilization (which eliminates blurry images and improves pictures shot in low light conditions), we produced a video that simulates what we will be able to deliver with OIS," Heidi Lemmetyinen wrote in post on the Nokia Conversations blog, a day after the Lumia 920 made its debut.
"Of course, hindsight is 20/20," she continued, "but we should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only. This was not shot with a Lumia 920. At least, not yet."
Not yet is right, thought one Nokia fan, who set out to prove that OIS can deliver as suggested.
A Russian Nokia user who goes by the Twitter handle Revazrezo set out on a bicycle with a Lumia 920 and a companion who was game to mug for the camera and play along. (Dressed in a reindeer sweater and laughing at her role, she's a good sport, as comparisons to the bare-legged Nokia model are inevitable.)
Posted Nov. 26 to PureViewClub, a site run by a fan of the Nokia technology for other fans, the video suggests that the Lumia 920 delivers as promised. While the girl is a bit shaky on her bicycle, as she tries to mimic the one-handed wave of the sunlit Nokia model, the video is rather smooth.
At the time of the Nokia apology, analysts suggested that the failed ad could still work to Nokia's advantage.
Calling the situation a double-edged sword, Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston told eWEEK, "On one hand, Nokia's brand credibility has taken a knock. If consumers don't trust you, you will lose heart share. On the other hand, Nokia has been getting extensive press coverage that is raising its brand awareness among Americans. If you gain mind share, you will have more chance of capturing market share."
If the ad didn't help to attract mind share, the Lumia 920 offers other features that might have. It has a display that's so sensitive it can be used while wearing gloves or tapped by a fingernail, it has wireless charging, near-field communication technology and a 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ ClearBlack display. According to a Nov. 26 report from Yahoo China, Nokia has already sold more than 2.5 million of its Lumia 920 handsets.
Nokia may not have dared to revisit the video, but its fans, in doing so, certainly showed it some love. Whether that translates to heart share, or better, market share, will remain to be seen.