Greenwood's Law
Meme Mash Up


When the original N-Gage launched I remember thinking: "That's a great idea, way ahead of its time, done incredibly badly".

The original device was a bad portable gaming device - the buttons were in the wrong place, making it practically impossible to play Tony Hawk - and a bad phone - you had to hold it to its thin side to use it, which looked ridiculous and felt weird.

It was like they had never tried to use it before the launched it to market.

But now that phones have begun to evolve into micromachines and the N-Gage has evolved into a software platform that works across all the Nokia N Series smartphones, they might have a chance to eat into some of the latent gaming-on-the-go demand among existing Nokia users.

And they've decided to make it easy for you to find out if you have any, which is a very good idea.

[The biggest hurdle with games on your phone is that buying something for 5 [dollars or pounds] is a huge conceptual barrier - it's too high in relation to the amount you think you spend on your phone service.

[You almost certainly spend more than you think you do - that's how mobile operators make their money - in your head you only pay your tariff, which is why you get bill shock every month. Plus you won't believe how often mobile phone billing errors occur. Check your bill.]

[You won't bother to do this - it is too annoying and unless the error is huge you will never notice. I'm sorry.]

The App store is helping to change this perception - even the fact that it is called an App STORE helps, because it begins to educate people that mobile software is something you buy - but it's still there for many users.

[I have only downloaded free apps so far, and I'm a geek.]

This is also why this area is the other half of what's interesting about mobile advertising, which we all know is the NEXT BIG THING, but if we attempt to transpose the interruptive display model from other media, like we did online, it will fail very badly very quickly - I do not want ads on my phone, unless it is in some way giving me value - and even then I'd rather pay not to have them there.

[This parenthesis is getting out of control. I'm going to try and reign it back in. Hold on.]

However, if your brand delivers geotililty, or sponsors stuff so I can get content for free, then I might be interested.]

So Nokia have decided to give one of the most popular game titles away - you can get FIFA 08 for your N-Series for free.

[Hence FreeFa. I'm very sorry. On the plus side though I think the asides are over.]

And people love free things, because it makes you feel there's no potential for loss, and we are hugely loss averse, so that's good, but it will also drive trial among people who would never consider buying a game, but might like it if they did - boys like football, boys with N-Series phones have a higher than average propensity to like games on their phone.

The video above is part of the promotion for the game giveaway - a communication paradigm I also really like: do something nice and then talk about it.