Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blackberry: the good, the bad and the spectacular

Blackberry's running a new "Blackberry Loves U2" campaign, and I'm not quite sure if I like it or not.

The good:

It's different.

I'm really tired of the "me-too" ad. Too many industries include brands that just copy each other's ads. Watch any car commercial and you'll know exactly what I mean. With the exception of the iPhone, advertising in the mobile market is fairly repetitive. All about features. "My phone has this, my phone has that, my phone flips this way, my phone flips that way". It's no wonder the iPhone does so well - their ads really stand out. Well, now so do Blackberry's. Their TV spot in particular is intriguing to say the least. And it doesn't list one feature.

The bad:

You can't tell what it is. The TV spot shows only U2 in concert, and closes with a "Blackberry Loves U2" teaser line.


So what!

I'm happy for you that you like U2, but that doesn't do anything for me - the consumer. What are you trying to tell me? What are you trying to sell me? All I can do is go to the dedicated url to learn more. But that's asking the consumer to do quite a bit. The more you ask them to do, the less they will be inclined to do it. I would have at least liked them to tell me what it is they're trying to promote. The ad is memorable, but all I remember is that Blackberry thinks U2 is cool.

The spectacular:

This ad is far from ugly. The production quality is outstanding and if nothing else, you come away from it feeling impressed by Blackberry for such an undertaking. And that's saying a lot. Do something impressive and people will remember you for that reason alone. It's not cheap, but it works. Remember the launch of Windows and the whole Rolling Stones "Start Me Up" thing? I thought you would.

So while there are some holes in the approach, Blackberry is certainly taking a leap. And getting noticed in the meantime. As a marketer, I just think they needed to tell us more while they had our attention.


1 comment:

Steve said...

My take: They were trying to say, "We're not all business. We're cool, too."

I think it's a loser, because it doesn't come across as authentic or particularly relevant. It's very "me, too", given Apple's strong connection with U2 a few years back. And short of Beyonce, I'm not sure there is a more obvious music artist/group to have as a partner.

If they want to "consumerize" their brand, they should have tried to do it in a more unique way. At least try to uncover someone who fits with their brand ... maybe an entrepreneur/musician.