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Blackberry Runs Iphone Commercials. - Phones - Nairaland

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Blackberry Runs Iphone Commercials. by igben(m): 4:35pm On Mar 22, 2013
I saw one of the “Keep Moving” TV commercials for the first time last night. People running, hopping, sliding, and otherwise moving from one scene to the next, as if different settings around the world were adjacent rooms with permeable walls between them. High production values and very visually stimulating, all intended to illustrate the various things a smartphone can do. The product reveal at the end was an iPhone.

Only it wasn’t. It looked like an iPhone, just like all smartphones do these days, but it was the new BlackBerry 10. This is the product heralded as BlackBerry’s last, best comeback chance, only the company couldn’t come up with anything important or useful to tell us.

BlackBerry (formerly RIM) will be a business school case in squandered opportunities one day, if it isn’t already. It all but invented the handheld computer business (Apple had given the world the clunky Newton earlier) and developed a huge, worldwide base of committed “crack-berry” users.

But then it tripped up — product improvements were incremental, services lagged developments in the consumer space, and it never figured out that its corporate customers were just entry points for individual users who could have been seen as members of communities instead of names on monthly bills — which allowed Apple the market space to introduce the Next Big Thing

So now BlackBerry has an iPhone, too

Samsung has proven that there’s lots of money to be made in the me-too business, but only if a brand makes real tweaks in tech (bigger screens creates a smartphone/tablet hybrid experience, sort of), pricing (Galaxy deals are great and maybe you don’t need to buy two devices), and distribution (Samsung touches a zillion more retail opportunities worldwide). Smart, strategic marketing helps — positioning its tech as young and thereby implying that Apple is old was brilliant — but it’s useless if there’s no underlying meaningful differentiation.

BlackBerry could do so much more. Maybe there are some real differences to its new device. Why not make them apparent instead of burying the product under ad agency production values? What about services (since all the tech pretty much works the same way, or so it seems)? Perhaps the killer app would actually be an app, or a community, or other service benefit that made its device truly different.

More so, why not acknowledge the elephant in the room and make the BlackBerry campaign all about former users…invite them to come home, rejoin the world’s only serious device user community or, gasp, admit that the company lost its way and has caught up to its customers? Draw on its past and make the present a cause, or something. Dare to use the truth as a trigger for attention, and then address it head-on. It could be like Elvis has reentered the building. Talk about a real creative challenge worthy of contemplation.

Instead, it gave us a campaign for the iPhone, or for smartphones generically (just like Microsoft spent many millions to tell us it sells a tablet, too).  The sales results for both products suggests the merits of such approaches.

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