We’ve been waiting to see what Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T had whipped up in preparation for this Sunday’s launch (!) of the Nokia Lumia 900, and late yesterday a new viral campaign began building the hype. A mysterious website has surfaced called Smartphone Beta Test, and upon first glance the site is just a random placeholder featuring Saturday Night Live’s (and one-half of the famous Lazy Sunday video) Chris Parnell killing time in a swivel chair. It looks like he’s waiting for that timer above his head to hit zero, which would be on April 6th at 7:30 PM Eastern (or 4:30 PM Pacific).
As you look a little deeper through the site. videos are included which show a behind the scenes look at a phone that isn’t “all it’s cracked up to be”. The hints aren’t so subtle that at least one of the beta testers is complaining about their iPhone (ranging from the original to the iPhone 4) while the others are seemingly brainwashed and propose half-assed solutions to his qualms. Specifically the three videos take jabs at the iPhone’s Death Grip controversy, the original device’s terrible outdoor screen, and the fragile glass of the 4 / 4S exterior.
WPCentral did a little dumpster diving into the site’s coding and discovered at least one link pointing towards Nokia, so we know for a fact this is them (but it was still obvious from the site’s design). However the viral campaign has already moved beyond the internet with teaser ads airing on national television (just like they did in Europe) but this time Parnell is actually talking, saying that if you ever thought your smartphone was over-hyped, “you may have been on to something”. (Posted after the break).
Now we still don’t know where Nokia is going with this, but we already smell a winner on our hands. Snatching up Parnell alone will do wonders as the company establishes it’s new image in the U.S. because we’re still chuckling thinking about that 16-second teaser. However we’re more eager to see just how Nokia plans to argue against the iPhone, especially with AT&T and Microsoft on its side. Remember, remember, the 6th of April!