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Somebody Else's Phone: Would you look through it?

Ad firm Wieden + Kennedy London translates the idea of "cellular oversharing" into a much gushed-about advertising campaign of fake authenticity for cell phone maker Nokia.

Somebodyelsesphone (Credit: Somebody Else's Phone)

If you found somebody else's phone, would you look through it? That's a rhetorical question. Of course! Your phone is your life, at least if you're under 25, and there's nothing more interesting than the "lives of others."

The advertising firm Wieden + Kennedy London translated the idea of "cellular oversharing" into a much gushed-about ad campaign for Nokia. "Somebody Else's Phone" depicts the lives of three twentysomethings through their text messages, multimedia messaging service, and pictures, and it essentially creates a new story format: the phone novel.

Fusing scripted content with real-life audience interaction, the campaign runs in 10 different languages, following the characters' evolving storylines through a 24-7 feed of content, across three time zones, over 6 weeks.

Nice idea, though the blog of marketing firm Luon comments, "Sometimes it feels a bit like trying too hard. The advertising-tries-to-be-socially-smart thing, where it's not clear what is real and what is fake."

But that's exactly the point. Fake authenticity--I've already written about "Mad Men" on Twitter in this context--is a burgeoning trend. Fake is fine, as long as it feels real. We'll see more of it in 2009.