Deceptive advertising: Nokia admits to faking the PureView ad

By , Sep 5, 2012

Nokia has always been the smartphone imaging king so no wonder the ailing cell phone giant emphasized advanced camera capabilities as the headline feature of its new flagship Lumia 920 smartphone, launched earlier today.

PureView technology debuted last year on Nokia’s Symbian-driven PureView 808 handset. It’s based on a pixel oversampling technique which reduces an image taken at full resolution into a lower resolution variant in order to enable lossless zoom and improve light sensitivity and crispness.

Though the new Lumia 920 only has a 8,x-megapixel sensor versus a whopping 41-megapixel on the PureView 808, it still takes in five times more light than other camera phones and taps image signal processor for some cool image stabilization technology (the iPhone 4S also does that).

Unfortunately, Nokia has gone too far in promoting PureView’s ability to stabilize shaky video, as proven by its latest commercial…

Before you jump straight down to comments, let me just point out that Apple is no stranger to misleading, deceptive and even false advertising.

With that off my chest, T.C. Sottek of The Verge made a nice discovery in the Nokia ad:

There’s a curious reflection in the window of the trailer in the background. It’s not a young man riding his bicycle alongside the cheerful model, but instead a big white van with a lighting rig and a cameraman standing in the doorway — with what appears to be a large camera rig.

Whatever he’s holding, we can reasonably agree it’s not a Lumia 920.

Here’s the original commercial, as seen on Nokia’s YouTube channel.

See the guy holding a camera rig?

Here, this video should help.

 

Maybe the author is wrong and the reflection we’re seeing is just an artifact, but my two cents say Nokia’s advertising agency did a poor job cleaning up the problematic frames.

Nokia acknowledged as much, issuing a statement admitting that the PureView ad is misleading:

We spoke with a Nokia spokesman who agrees that the video is misleading and stresses that it was “never the company’s intention to deceive anyone.”

Nokia only wanted to demonstrate the benefits optical image stabilization. Nokia is now looking into updating the original video with a footnote so that it’s clear that the images are simulated.

Just to be clear here, footage from that ad was not shot with a Lumia 920.

The original Nokia Conversations blog post that announced the video has been updated with the following text: “the OIS video, above, was not shot using the Lumia 920.”

It’s also been updated with the following:

Note: The Lumia 920 pictures in this post were taken using prototype hardware and software, and then reduced dramatically in size.

Prototype hardware?

Seriously?

Despite the obvious public relations slip-up here, it is still plausible that PureView’s image stabilization works as advertised.

Obviously, the thing to learn here is that nothing escapes the watchful eyes of the Interweb – not even a single frame.

In other news, handset maker Google and its subsidiary Motorola Mobility refreshed the Razr lineup earlier today.

Amazon is also expected to launch a bunch of new tablets tomorrow, among them an iPad contender.

Talk about a fall re-boot.

Didn’t anyone tell these companies their announcements will be washed away by the iPhone 5 tsunami next week?

Speaking of which, kudos to HTC for cleverly scheduling their presser until after the iPhone 5 thing next Wednesday.

So, the (likely) faked PureView ad.

Thoughts?

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  • Now what would have happened if nobody found this tidbit out…

  • I thought it is an Apple logo, but I did realize then that it’s a big guy in a van holding an DSLR o.O

  • CollegiateLad

    Hahaha…. Wow!!!

  • Zorvage

    Washed away by the tsunami and destroyed by sales..

    • James Cranston

      good luck with that hahaha, could have said that years ago but welcome to the end of 2012 where market share no longer reflects anyone but the sheep

  • Nice catch..

  • Makes you wonder how much deceptive advertising is out there. Can we really trust what these companies are telling us?

    • No more Obama

      apple did it too during the unveiling of the iphone 4S. apple used a camera boom

  • Someone is going to get fired.

  • That is actually quite difficult to catch. Wouldn’t have noticed without this article.

    But this just goes to show that deceptive advertising is more common than one might think. A couple of days ago they were saying some Ab Infomercial was slapped with a lawsuit from the FCC for deceptive advertising. The Siri ads for Apple sure are too good to be true. And now there is this.

  • jkbhe@hojat.com

    i did notice the camera being more steady on one side

  • That’s what I call a Killer Feature. For Nokia itself.

  • seyss

    they should be sued heavily for this. big companies get away with all kinds of crimes while normal people get stuck behind bars for such small things

  • Real Warder

    If you watch the first 20 seconds, clearly someone else is videoing both people so it is not surprising you see another camera.

  • Tim

    as if they would shoot a commercial with a mobile phone lol

  • Real Warder

    Alright, I give it to you. It looks fake.

  • Wow, I’m impressed by how the writer stays unbiased by giving examples of Apple using the deceiving tactics. Bravo. It’s the same news as The Verge, yet this one doesn’t sound zealous or hypocrite at all.

    You guys got a new reader even though I do not own any Apple products 🙂

  • James Cranston

    its like a van/ute, you see it pass in the reflection on glass haha. poorly edited.

  • No more Obama

    what’s the problem nokia did this? do you remember the keynote for iphone4S? they used a camera boom/jib arm for the scenes by the air balloon and field

    but i think nokia was more deceptive as they showed the guy using only the phone when clearly it can’t be done. but both companies did the same thing. 🙁

  • No more Obama

    checkout videos on you tube. the camera on the 920 is so far superior to the iphone. look at this video /watch?v=jFhhBJ1URCg

  • Well this is nothing new in the business of advertising. If you hire an advertising agency you can bet they will shoot the campaign with professional camera’s. Nokia should have added a disclaimer though. I’m pretty sure that every company does the same thing. You can also bet when an image explicitly mentions it has been shot with the camera of the phone itself it has been placed an a camera stand too and the lighting will be near perfect.

  • Guest

    0.27 seconds.. Hahaha., this is awesome stuff..

  • 0.27 seconds.. Haha., this is great stuff..
    Apple creates ideas, Samsung copies from Apple and NOKIA is confused..

  • M Last

    wow!!!!!!!
    nice catch
    watch the 27″ second you can see that guy with big camera
    LOL:))))))))))

  • What worries me the most is that no-one noticed the shadow of the guy holding a camera at 0:48.

  • Fuck you