From the media invite, which came in the form of a selfie image, to the product launch, Nokia and Microsft have changed the rules of launching chic products. Instead of the usual speeches and fireworks and endorsements by celebrities, Microsoft Devices, chose a simple but attention-grabbing way: taking selfies.

Its brand marketers effectively turned the selfie cliche, which was popularised by US President Obama, who took a selfie with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela last year. At the Nokia function held at Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi last evening, to launch new Lumia devices, 730 and 830, did not expect to be asked to take selfies and beam them on Twitter and Instagram as a way of creating awareness of the new phone and its superior picture functionalities.

And it worked, or so it seems. This is something that will take other event organizsrs to the drawing board when it comes to launching new products. Microsoft Devices in a small but effective way introuduced the new Lumia variants, building on the success of Lumia 630, 635 and 930. The Lumia 730 and 830 are targeting middle level customers who cannot afford high-end phones but want devices that can ‘do more’ in terms of apps installed and available at the Lumia store.

The event was full of pomp and fanfare, despite the change of venue from the more preferred poolside to the Mara North room, with journalists and other guests taking advantage to pose for selfies with celebrities and sharing them on Instagram as well as Twitter. Those who were expecting party poppers and models at the event were wowed by the simplicity of the event. There was no protocol, just brief videos about the two devices, snacks and wine for the thirsty!

“Our aim,” said Mr King’ori Gitahi, Product Manager at Microsoft East Africa, “is to give consumers products that they can identify with and do more than just making calls. The Lumia selfie campaign is something we want to do and help people share their sweet moments by just a click of the button.”

Lumia 730, which operates Windows 8.1, is available in all Nokia stores countrywide for Ksh30,000 while Lumia 830 is slightly higher, retailing at Ksh45,000.



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