The BlackBerry advertising initiative

14 Comments

RIM has done some leg work for the BlackBerry brand on their own time, though. We’ve shown you the B & C-list celebrity endorsements, right? There’s been effort, but it’s really weak. RIM even had a J Walter Thompson, a powerhouse ad agency with clients like Smirnoff and Mustang, doing work for them at one point, and still – nothing that would permeate their customer at a more personal level.

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Even though the BlackBerry is targeted toward a more corporate and perhaps uptight-ish user, that doesn’t mean that advertising dollars should be tossed only to Wired Magazine and a few pop-ups here and there. I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen spots for the Q (which really aren’t that great) or the BlackJack (pretty cool, actually). These companies have put a dent in the market, and it’s undoubtedly time for some sort of response with the BlackBerry.

superbowllogo.jpgWill we see it in the campaign for the BlackBerry 8800? Somehow, I highly doubt it, although that’s what most of my sugarplumb dreams consist of. There’s been talk and suggestion of a Super Bowl commercial, but to contradict my thoughts a little, RIM should not show their face at the spectacle of all spectacles (unless Janet Jackson’s performing again, then they can strategically place a BlackBerry somewhere…). The Super Bowl? Please. If a device that’s trying to toss out traditional mobile technology should not be relying on traditional advertising.

If there were any marketing guru’s either working at or working for RIM, here’s the suggestion, take it as you will. Viral. No, don’t make your customers sick, but get into their homes and workplaces without them really knowing it. Use the blogs, use other popular sites like Digg and what have you, and get your name out there. How about guerilla advertising? Pretty well the same idea, but even more in your face (but not at the same time). Put a guy in a glass case in the middle of Times Square with nothing inside, give him a 8800, and then show the onlookers that he can still conduct his business while inside of a glass house (hello, metaphor).

As much as I want to see BlackBerry stick around (job security is a nice thing to have), I’m sure RIM and their team want to see that so much more. Your devices are strong and reliable, you’ve proven that to us already. It’s time to re-evaluate some things, my friends. Take note of this cheesy advice: Every day your consumers are touching your device, maybe it’s time for you to touch the consumer.

Not literally, please.

  • http://www.rimarkable.com/ Robb (RIMarkable)

    Good Post Steve. I think that you are dead on with just about everything. I wouldn’t, however, downplay the power of a good SuperBowl commercial. A good spot with a strong message can “get into consumers homes and workplaces without them really knowing it” even though they know that they are watching a commercial.

    A Superbowl commercial isn’t just about the 30 to 60 second spots that you see during time-outs and at half time. It is about all the buzz generated the week leading up to and the few weeks after the spots air.

    Think of all the blogs, websites, news sources, etc. that could be talking about “the BlackBerry commercial” before and after the SuperBowl.

    Millions of Americans could be talking about how cool the BlackBerry was around the water cooler the Monday after the SuperBowl.

    As popular as the BlackBerry is and as strong as the BlackBerry brand is, RIM has a marketing problem when it comes to consumers. They don’t think of the BlackBerry as a cool mobile phone. A good commercial could literally change that perception overnight.

  • http://www.rimarkable.com Robb (RIMarkable)

    Good Post Steve. I think that you are dead on with just about everything. I wouldn’t, however, downplay the power of a good SuperBowl commercial. A good spot with a strong message can “get into consumers homes and workplaces without them really knowing it” even though they know that they are watching a commercial.

    A Superbowl commercial isn’t just about the 30 to 60 second spots that you see during time-outs and at half time. It is about all the buzz generated the week leading up to and the few weeks after the spots air.

    Think of all the blogs, websites, news sources, etc. that could be talking about “the BlackBerry commercial” before and after the SuperBowl.

    Millions of Americans could be talking about how cool the BlackBerry was around the water cooler the Monday after the SuperBowl.

    As popular as the BlackBerry is and as strong as the BlackBerry brand is, RIM has a marketing problem when it comes to consumers. They don’t think of the BlackBerry as a cool mobile phone. A good commercial could literally change that perception overnight.

  • Thought

    Great thoughts, Steve. I really like the idea of the guy in the glass enclosure in Times Square conducting business. Maybe they could get some crazy dude like David Blain to do that…he’s big into locking himself up in small enclosures in public view.

    However, like Robb, I do believe that a Super Bowl commercial is vastly different than a standard one. One good SB ad can define your whole corporate image. I still remember how monster.com, even as a new web startup, established itself solely by dedicating its entire budget to one SB ad. It was a roll of the dice that really paid off.

    Of course, one can name a slew of great ads that really enhanced the corp image of a number of large companies, whether it be the beer ads for Budweiser, or the iconic 1984 ad for Apple.

    As Robb notes, a good SB ad isn’t just aired the one or few times that the company pays for; it receives millions in free publicity through news outlets, etc.

    In short, an SB ad is not traditional marketing, even though its through a very traditional medium. Properly done, it is something quite unique, and that’s definitely what RIM needs. Now of course, I don’t expect RIM to do this…but I still think it’s an intriguing idea.

  • Thought

    Great thoughts, Steve. I really like the idea of the guy in the glass enclosure in Times Square conducting business. Maybe they could get some crazy dude like David Blain to do that…he’s big into locking himself up in small enclosures in public view.

    However, like Robb, I do believe that a Super Bowl commercial is vastly different than a standard one. One good SB ad can define your whole corporate image. I still remember how monster.com, even as a new web startup, established itself solely by dedicating its entire budget to one SB ad. It was a roll of the dice that really paid off.

    Of course, one can name a slew of great ads that really enhanced the corp image of a number of large companies, whether it be the beer ads for Budweiser, or the iconic 1984 ad for Apple.

    As Robb notes, a good SB ad isn’t just aired the one or few times that the company pays for; it receives millions in free publicity through news outlets, etc.

    In short, an SB ad is not traditional marketing, even though its through a very traditional medium. Properly done, it is something quite unique, and that’s definitely what RIM needs. Now of course, I don’t expect RIM to do this…but I still think it’s an intriguing idea.

  • Dan

    What do you think about the current advertising for BlackBerry?.. the one with the collage?

  • Dan

    What do you think about the current advertising for BlackBerry?.. the one with the collage?

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Simon Sage

    Certainly a step in the right direction, Dan. The BlackBerry Bold really kicked off a much more visible marketing campaign that I think will last so long as the likes of the iPhone are competing.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com Simon Sage

    Certainly a step in the right direction, Dan. The BlackBerry Bold really kicked off a much more visible marketing campaign that I think will last so long as the likes of the iPhone are competing.

  • mike

    what about making an urban commericial with some one saying, “The blacker the berry (Blackberry in hand), the sweeter the juice” lol they’ll laugh and relate..then buy it..trust me

  • mike

    what about making an urban commericial with some one saying, “The blacker the berry (Blackberry in hand), the sweeter the juice” lol they’ll laugh and relate..then buy it..trust me

  • http://www.greenpepper.in/ Krishna Kumar

    Blackberry's new ad – “Do what you love; love what you do”! 3 years back, GreenPepper designed catch line 'Do what you enjoy, enjoy what you do' and trademarked it. Did they lift from us?

  • http://www.greenpepper.in/ Krishna Kumar

    Blackberry's new ad – “Do what you love; love what you do”! 3 years back, GreenPepper designed catch line 'Do what you enjoy, enjoy what you do' and trademarked it. Did they lift from us?

  • http://www.greenpepper.in/ Krishna Kumar

    Blackberry's new ad – “Do what you love; love what you do”! 3 years back, GreenPepper designed catch line 'Do what you enjoy, enjoy what you do' and trademarked it. Did they lift from us?

  • http://www.greenpepper.in/ Krishna Kumar

    Blackberry's new ad – “Do what you love; love what you do”! 3 years back, GreenPepper designed catch line 'Do what you enjoy, enjoy what you do' and trademarked it. Did they lift from us?