Hanging up on the Pom Phone

The Pomegranate phone is the thrust of a $300 000 “viral” marketing campaign by the Province of Nova Scotia to lure ex-pats back home. It features a mythical mobile phone that can do all sorts of useful things (that actual cell phones can do nowadays) plus some extra “out there” features like a harmonica and a coffee maker.

It’s slick. I don’t fault the piece on a technical or creative level. It is executed with great care and amazing attention to detail. I surely can’t slag it for using Windom Earle (my brother) as the soundtrack.

The leap the viewer has to make, if you poke around long enough to find out, is that “Having everything you want in a phone may be a stretch, but a place that has everything definitely exists.” I can’t imagine someone being rewarded or swayed by the payoff of returning to Nova Scotia after watching it. Nothing against Nova Scotia, but would it be able to move anyone home?

Lastly, I also understand the name of the faux product is a riff on the Apple iPhone phenomenon…


The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing to between five and eight metres tall. The pomegranate is native to the region from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region and the Caucasus since ancient times. It is widely cultivated throughout Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, India, Syria, Turkey, the drier parts of southeast Asia, Peninsular Malaysia, the East Indies, and tropical Africa[1]. Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is now cultivated in parts of California and Arizona for juice production

…but I think I can think of a better name which actually has a local connection:


Nova Scotia, also a major producer of wild blueberries, recognizes the blueberry as its official provincial berry.[14] The town of Oxford is known as the Wild Blueberry Capital of Canada.


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Boost Ventilator

Creator and applier of words, pictures, and videos since logging onto CompuServe in 1993. Natural collaborator and BS detector.

One thought on “Hanging up on the Pom Phone”

  1. Hi Iain, I wanted to clarify that the Pomegranate campaign is intended for a larger audience than Nova Scotia expats. Come to life’s mandate is to change the way people think about the province and highlight our many advantages. We do this in a strategic way – targeting our message towards influencers in our key markets. One of our big influencer groups is expats as they carry Nova Scotia’s story with them where ever they might be. In the three days since the launch of the “Pom,” we’ve had over 10,000 unique visitors to the site and the number of visits has increased daily. We’ve reached people, some ex-pats, many more not, throughout Canada, in all our target markets, every state in the US (except N. Dakota!?), Jerusalem, Ukraine, Italy and the list goes on. The response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. We’ve engaged viewers and they’ll come away with a more up-to-date perception of Nova Scotia.

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