Forest thump: music from trees

If a mobile device is advertised in a forest and no-one is around to capture it virally, does it make a sound?

Well. No. But if they did, it would probably look something like this Japanese mobile campaign.

Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo recently unveiled the Touch Wood (yes, really) mobile device, a bean shaped wooden handset in a limited edition run of 15,000, in a bid to establish some eco friendly credentials in the mobile marketplace. The mobile handset features a tactile wood casing and in true altruistic style also makes donations to conservation society moreTrees with each sale.

So far, lots of brownie points with the tree hugging community – but little to shout about on the innovation side.

However, what is striking though is the accompanying commercial for the device, which saw the construction of a mile long wooden xylophone in the heart of a forest, enabling a wooden ball that traversed the structure to play out a gentle, melodious version of Bach’s ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’.

It’s a very clever bit of kit that uses gravity as its power source alongside a fairly hefty piece of engineering, thereby pushing a resourceful, eco friendly, yet 'advanced technological capability' message.

In fact it’s a refreshingly peaceful piece of advertising in the increasingly cluttered, chaotic and bombastic mobile sector. For that we applaud it, even if it did, ironically, mean using lots of trees to create the giant wooden musical instrument.

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