Nokia phone launches with concert for media

NEW YORK: Nokia went "Crazy" Tuesday evening in Times Square by hosting a global, invitation-only Gnarls Barkley concert as the international launch of its new music phones.

NEW YORK: Nokia went "Crazy" Tuesday evening in Times Square by hosting a global, invitation-only Gnarls Barkley concert as the international launch of its new music phones.

The event drew more than 1,000 people from around the world, Nokia said.

Nokia had the duo of Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse - whose elaborate stage show often finds the whole band in Star Wars or Wizard of Oz costumes - inaugurate its 5300 XpressMusic handsets, three new phones which will be available in 2007.

Keith Nowak, Nokia media relations manager, said the NYC show at the Nokia Theater was essentially a one-off event, designed to take advantage of the concentrated amount of media and as "a fun way to launch" a new music product. Nokia flew in reporters from Latin America, Europe and Asia - there were 300 to 400 reporters attending. He said the company decided to put on a concert because they are launching a music product.
"It was a good fit for us," he said.

The media relations plan is still in its early stage because the phones aren't yet available. But Nokia will heavily target music and lifestyle publications in addition to its tech pubs. Nowak said.

Nowak said both digital music players and cell phones are known entities. "We have to change identities to bring them together," he said is the PR challenge.

Nokia's AOR Ketchum had worked only in a limited capacity on the event, Nowak said, because it was corporate.

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