Nokia shifts ad focus to GPS-enabled handsets

LONDON - Nokia is launching a marketing and sponsorship strategy to encourage consumers to use its GPS-enabled handsets in their everyday lives.

Nokia will support its range of GPS and personal navigation-enabled phones with an integrated marketing campaign later this year. The activity will centre on a TV and digital drive showing how consumers can use GPS technology for everyday purposes such as locating bars and restaurants.

'Location-based personal navigation will be a huge part of the next five or six years for the mobile phone industry,' said Nokia UK managing director Simon Ainslie.

The world's biggest handset manufacturer will roll out a series of high-profile sponsorships to promote its Sports Tracker devices to UK consumers interested in walking, running and cycling.

Nokia Sports Tracker is a piece of software that can be downloaded to GPS-enabled handsets and stores training information. It will be demonstrated at this year's London Marathon Exhibition, of which Nokia is a sponsor.

The product goes head-to-head with similar offerings such as Nike+ and MiCoach, the result of Samsung's collaboration with Adidas (Marketing, 5 March).

 Nokia is creating an Urban Treasure Hunt event in which teams use GPS to find 'hidden treasures' in UK city centres. It also plans to use existing sponsorships to promote its range of GPS devices, demonstrating them at the Windsor Triathlon, the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon and Bike Week events, and is working on other relevant tie-ins to be announced later this year.

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