Looking for a good throwback post, we searched through our video archives and found this 1995 spot created and produced by the agency when it was known as Peak Barr Petralia Biety. The spot is one of our favorites for its strong concept and humor, not to mention excellent execution and production all the way from casting to timing to music and sound effects. No wonder it cleaned up at the award shows.
Obviously, a lot’s happened with mobile phones since they were first developed in the ‘70s and then mass produced and marketed in the ‘80s and ‘90s. When it comes to technology, 30 or 40 years is like going back to the time of the Neanderthals.
In the very early days of mobile phones, they weren’t created with consumers in mind. Back then, they were intended for businessmen-types like Donald Trump who drove big Jags and flew Concorde, not your average Joe. Even at the start of the 1990s this was still the case. Nokia’s first ‘handheld’ mobile phone, the Mobira Cityman 900, launched in 1989 and weighed just 1.8 lbs was a huge improvement over their 1982 carphone, the Mobira Senator, weighing in at a whopping 21.6 lbs. To date, more than 250 million Nokia 1100 devices have been sold, making it the bestselling electrical gadget in history. By the way, while on the subject of useless trivia…did you know that today, more people in the world have mobile phones than toilets?
So how did Peak Barr Petralia Biety land the Nokia account? Back around 1990, our start-up agency got introduced to some nice people at what was then the U.S. headquarters for Nokia Mobile Phones (Finland-based parent company). The U.S. headquarters office then…believe it or not…was in a strip mall in Largo, FL.
Those were the days when mobile phones were more likely to be found hard wired in cars…and, as mentioned earlier, considered a businessman’s toy. Nokia’s vision and focus was on making the mobile, hand-held phone something that all people would want to own. What hand-held market existed at that point was “owned” by Motorola. A few short years later…Nokia became the leading international cell phone manufacturer and moved their offices to Dallas. PeakBiety had the privilege of helping Nokia grow their business and, within a few short years, we were communicating with consumers via national television. Later, we also had the privilege of helping Nokia become dominant in Latin America markets.
Our Nokia experience provided many important lessons for the agency. One in particular was the lesson of never adopting a policy of a “minimum spending level” in assessing the value of a prospective client. Had we a “minimum spend” policy…Nokia at that time would not have qualified. Moral: good people with good ideas should command agency attention and consideration…regardless of current marketing budget size.