The Upside of the Pomegranate Phone

Last fall, Nova Scotia’s economic development team via Nova Scotia Come To Life launched a campaign that featured the Pomegranate Phone, a very well executed piece of video. At the end of the video you can click through to the provinces economic development site.

There was a lot of discussion over whether or not this was a successful project. Some hailed it as an abject failure, some said it was good, others not so sure. But it did generate discussion…and so finally I thought I’d weigh in. There was a lot of discussion on Twitter as well under the #pombomb tag; and this continues. Hello long-tail.
The Downsides:
– The transition from the video into the economic development website was poorly done
– The sudden shift doesn’t make a lot of sense
– The resulting website could be better
– Using NS08 makes little sense to anyone and there’s no pre-communication for awareness
– Engagement tools aren’t really prevalent or easily accessed
But these are more “technical” and “strategic execution” than they are of the campaign overall.
The Upsides:
– It is innovative
– The government took a chance, they explored the medium, they got creative
– It generated discussion; outside the region, where it matters
– The campaign got national attention
– It will re-enforce economic development initiatives into 2009
– Locally we “bashed” it but outside of NS, people loved it
And to my last bullet above, that’s what really matters. People outside the region loved it and continue to find it and visit it. The campaign went viral. Nova Scotia isn’t perfect, but then nowhere is. Each region has its issues. Ontario is now a “have-not” province and is having to deal with a shift in its’ economic underpinnings.
Additionally, the provincial government took a risk. Bristol and Hatch produced a good creative piece. Sure, some the execution of the strategy was flawed, but over all, I give the government big kudos for taking the risk. In the end, it matters not that anyone locally may not like it; it has been successful outside the region and that is what counts to me. Engaging in online media is always a challenge and it is a learning process. For all of us. Anyone who says they have nothing left to learn about the Web and Social Media would frighten me.
We are innovative in Nova Scotia. We are trying hard. We have some impressive talent and companies here (MedMira, HB Studios, IVT, carshareHFX, Origin Biomed among many others.) We complain that mainstream media doesn’t support business in their writings…then we complain about each other. This doesn’t solve anyones problems.
Rather, we should applaud NS Come To Life and Economic Development for taking the risk and for increasing our exposure. They could have done worse. So while technical execution may not have been perfect, the overall impact is good. Hats off to them.
Once we learn the value of co-opetition, accepting success and promoting each other, then we all start to win and so does Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.

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