BlackBerry Ad Gets Mixed Response

by , Feb 4, 2013, 5:13 PM
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Fresh off unveiling its latest handsets last week and corporate rebranding, BlackBerry kept the publicity rolling with a Super Bowl ad promoting its new Z10 smartphone. Rather than use precious airtime to highlight product features, the company turned to humor and whimsical visual effects to capture attention.

The commercial shows a BlackBerry Z10 user walking down the street, alternately bursting into flame, growing elephant feet, explode in a cloud of rainbow smoke, and using the device to transform an out-of-control tanker truck into thousands (millions?) of harmless rubber duckies.

Cue voice over: “In 30 seconds, it’s quicker to show you what it can’t do.”

BlackBerry’s blog manager Don Halliwell in a post Sunday about the spot, explained: “For the big game, rather than run an ad that is expected for the tech category – one that showcases the features of the product – we decided to have fun and challenge the status quo.”

Fair enough, though some BlackBerry loyalists have taken issue with the light-heared approach on YouTube, CrackBerry.com and other online communities. Others maintained the Super Bowl ad is money squandered since the Z10 won’t actually be available in the U.S. until next month.

Another quibble: Halliwell stated the ad would help drive people to its Twitter and Facebook pages as well as its Web site. But the commercial’s end tag only flashes the BlackBerry URL in small type for a second, with no referral to its social networking properties. So much for linking traditional and digital media to boost traffic.

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