Located at a chop-shop in Finland, the once largest manufacturer of cell phones slowly hocks its remaining technology divisions to the largest software developer. Perhaps in the fever dreams of cellular death throes, Nokia has become much less lucid. For obscure reasons, the company is celebrated this Easter by 3D printing its logo in chocolate.
The company’s blog explains, haphazardly, “Now, we’ve got history with 3D Printing. Last February, at MWC 2013, we offered attendees the opportunity to participate in the world’s first live social 3D-printing experience. Since then, we’ve continued to push smartphone customisation into interesting new places, and it’s in this spirit that we’re trialling another world’s first this Easter with #Chokia: a 3D-printed Nokia logo made out of chocolate. Yum.” The writer then goes onto describe how the amount of chocolate that constitutes the logo is a healthy amount. And, in a desperate search for a marketing plug, he adds, “…at 6.41 x 3.36 x 0.34 inches, a real-life chocolate Lumia 1520 would equate to well over the recommended daily intake of chocolate. And anyway, while the Lumia 1520 might offer an unparalleled browsing experience, we do not endorse it as a snacking option.”
So, Nokia printed its logo for Easter. When sending me this lead, 3DPI’s Rachel Park included an interesting note: “Begs the question: why???” Personally, I believe that all of life’s activities beg that question, but Nokia’s marketing scheme brings the question to a particularly salient level of absurdity. “3D printing” has become an SEO hot phrase in the past couple of years and the novelty of 3D printing in chocolate has an obvious appeal. Now it’s gotten to the point where tech companies like Nokia are barely trying to hide their use of additive manufacturing as anything but a means of attracting web traffic and media attention.
As cute as Nokia’s “edible technology” is (are they considering chocolate a technology now?) it serves as a stark reminder of the desperation expressed by marketing divisions and advertisers in the attempt to obtain and maintain customers. Next time you read an article on a big company (or new startup) “utilizing” 3D printing technology for one reason or another, ask yourself if they’re really utilizing it or just exploiting it for marketing gain. That is, if you aren’t already doing so.