A recent article in the NYDailyNews talks about a stealth marketing campaign that RIM, or one of its outsourced marketing firms is employing to get BlackBerrys in the hands of young, good-looking professionals.
Julia Royter, a 26 year old actress employed in the stealth marketing campaign, says “I was with a bunch of hot girls and we would just walk into bars, whip out our BlackBerries[sic] and try to get guys to look at them by flirting. We’d say, ‘Put your number in my phone and I’ll totally call you. We’ll go out on a date!’ But we just wanted them to try the BlackBerry. I definitely didn’t call anyone.”
The article suggests the marketing campaign is “ethically dubious” but it’s really just a waste of everyone’s time. So you manage to get a BlackBerry in the hands of one good looking person, who might influence 20, great. Wouldn’t it be better to just build a great product that looks good and performs better than the rest, which in turn influences several million people to buy? This is exactly the sort of thing that happens when companies have over-inflated marketing budgets.