Why was BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben giving quotes to Reuters letting the media know that BBM was “Within Days” of launch back on October the 14th? While we know Andrew Bocking EVP for BBM is the main voice that has been updating the interwebs on BBM launch details-Frank is the Chief Marketing Officer.
Many went aghast when BlackBerry and Crew decided to air this Super Bowl Ad back in February.
Boulbens message with the advert was a nonchalant reminder to the public. BlackBerry is HERE. (And in truth they have been here all along). In reality the ad was a statement more than marketing tool to sell devices. It was a statement, much like the open letter they delivered in 30 newspaper publications across 9 different countries (also on the 14th). While it wasn’t the rabble-rousing victory chant that many fans wanted it left subtle messages to anyone watching. The catchy tune a song called “Who Knows” by Marion Black. To no surprise there is a fruit called a ‘MarionBerry’ it’s a kind of USDA developed blackberry cultivated earnestly in Marion County, Oregon. This part of the soul-song can be heard across the entirety of the ad and are also the opening lines:
Who knows what tomorrow will bring
Maybe sunshine, and maybe rain
But as for me I’ll wait and see
And maybe it’ll bring my love to me
Call me a romantic, or a fool, but the marketing cues while subversive can be admired. BlackBerry stands up for itself not by lashing out or being petty. It defies the negative connotation, building for a tomorrow that will have them, if only they could predict the forecast of their future. And perhaps I can agree, the SuperBowl may not have been the best place for the concept, but what it stands for, and the message it carriers is a widening truth as we begin to see the scope of their BBM launch, less than a week in now. As we move to discuss BBM, I’ll take word from Corey Herscu @CellGuru spotted on his BBM Channel in fact.
“Regardless of the hate going on online, BlackBerry – with their BBM app – have proved that they can still deliver quality products”
In truth the BlackBerry fans already know this. But to the world BBM will represent the face of BlackBerry in the hands of tens of millions of users across platforms. The experience will drive a new definition for what a BlackBerry is in the consumer mindset, and if you ask me, giving people an experience is so much more valuable than blowing 500$ million dollars just to saturate the market with painful curiosity $MSFT. BlackBerry in not working persay, on new growth, as much as it is at retention and win-back. Redefining the brand and delivering steady innovations-uniting a powerful social platform that couples IM, HD Voice & Video, Screen Sharing, Money Transfers and a new micro-blogging tenant BBM Channels, all with best in class security- it will absolutely drive dynamic growth for $BBRY or whatever the ticker is next month or the month after. BBM is merely training future BB10 owners the ins, and will hopefully show them the way out. Give them a taste of our platforms power.
The nostalgia in the air as BBM comes to life overshadows the fresh work BlackBerry has put into overhauling its BBM platform the last 2+ years. It will scale and scale fast to compete, Boulben can utilize the virility of a free download to advertise to you in a new way. By changing what you think you know. Google did this exceeding well with their Maps on iOS and have made it a must-have through careful seeding and consistent excellence, a goal BBM will need to keep front of face. BBM is a trojan horse for BlackBerry into potentially hundreds of millions of hands. In so many ways we’ll look back at this launch and never have seen it coming, but the marketing team at BlackBerry has much bigger goals on their horizon and to count this company down AND out is unfair. You’re playing right back into their hands, they’re going to get a power player involved or privatize but the BlackBerry you’ve known is gone but not the one you loved. As for me I’ll wait and see, if BlackBerry can bring all those loving users back home to the B. Who knows what tomorrow may bring.