Pomegranate Phone

3 December 2008

The Pomegranate Phone: Say Huh?

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Misses Flip-Phones…

Now here’s a site that takes borrowed interest to a new extreme.

The Pomegranate Phone is an all-in-one device that makes the iPhone look like a hockey puck. It’s good for everything but use as a floor wax or dessert topping: web surfing, MP3 player, video projector, voice translator… Cool, right? Then, of course, there’s the built-in coffee maker, harmonica, and a shaver for eliminating those pesky five o’clock shadows…

Pomegranate Phone Coffee Maker

Pour it on…

Yeah, it’s not a real phone. But the people behind this elaborate and slickly designed site went to extravagant lengths to depict the Pomegranate Phone with high-caliber CGI, mildly humorous video clips, and all the details down to accessories and wireless recharging. The entire production must have made the ad agency a ton of money, and would have even made Steve Jobs proud.

Just one problem: you’d never guess what this faux phone is actually selling. And I mean NEVER. There’s a slight hint in the brand number for the phone (NS08), but otherwise no other intimation or clue. You’ll just have to click over to the second half of the site to see what’s really behind the charade.

I won’t give it away — I want you to savor the head scratching “HUH?” moment yourself. I do understand that the whole gimmick is trying to attract tech professionals. And it did go viral — a friend sent this to me, and I’m passing it along here. But whether this little campaign is actually successful or not…

Well, you tell me: once you found out what’s really behind the Pomegranate Phone, did you want to take the sponsors up on their offer? I’m waiting to hear your take…

Update 2/10/2018: Now that a decade has passed, alas, the pomegranate phone campaign exists no more. So I can tell you that the whole stunt was to attract techies to settle in Nova Scotia, Canada. Yes, really.

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

7 Responses

  1. Wow. That’s quite a phone. I explored and learned the secret.

    Kudos to the advertiser for creative thinking. I’m not a good candidate to determine if the advertising will work or not. I was already interested in the thing they were really promoting.

    Good stuff, Freddy.

  2. wow lol, I never expected it to advertise that.

    I guess it worked, I spent more time then i normally would on a site i didnt mean to goto.

  3. ok wow, I totally didn’t see that coming! and they did sorta hook me…I watched more than I intended… I really don’t like the mystery meat navigation on the 2nd half of the site….

  4. What a disconnect between the ad and its product/service! Under the assumption that the ad was meant to get me to buy into the product, it failed. I was just disappointed and annoyed when I found out what it was really selling.

  5. Flash jumpy and crappy. A hassle to get at, just like the fruit in a pomegranate.

  6. Wow. WTH? I was sure I knew what it was for and then to discover it’s THAT?

  7. That frigging sucked! I reeealy wanted that phone. But it makes a great gag for teachers.. my english teacher had a fit of rage when i showed her the release date XD

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