2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

end of an era

BlackBerry Looks to Exit Consumer Market with $4.7 Billion Sale to Fairfax Financial

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 23, 2013 04:53 PM

Once the dominant face of the mobile marketplace, BlackBerry has experienced a most epic tumble from the top as it has continued to bleed cash and market share at the hands of major mobile manufacturers Apple and Samsung.

In a last-ditch bid for survival, the company announced Monday that it has signed a letter of intent to be sold to its biggest shareholder, Canada's Fairfax Financial Holdings, for USD $4.7 billion. The sale comes on the heels of the company's Sept. 20th earnings report that it lost an astounding $1 billion in one quarter, and related plans to shed one-third of its global workforce.

“BlackBerry has fallen on hard times recently, but we have every confidence it will be successful again,” Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa, the Canadian billionaire who resigned from BlackBerry's board before the announcement, told the Globe and Mail. Fairfax, the paper reports, “has put together an equity consortium” that aims to take the company private for $9 per share. A final agreement is expected by Nov. 4.Continue reading...

mobile brands

BlackBerry's New Mantra: "The Champion of Your Ambition"

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 14, 2013 03:52 PM

BlackBerry is not giving up. At Tuesday's kick-off to its annual developers conference, Canada's embattled mobile brand unveiled the BlackBerry Q5, a lower-priced, more youthful smartphone to broaden its appeal to the mobile market. 

The new device, which will be available in select markets in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America starting in July, actually brings back old technology with its QWERTY keyboard, a feature that may very well attract users who are averse to touchscreens as well as heavy texters. 

"The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical QWERTY keyboard. It is for youthful fans that are passionate, confident and bold, and it makes it easy for them to have fun, create, share and stay connected," according to a press release.

The brand is hoping to capture young, emerging markets in order to shore up losses from Apple's iPhone and Android devices.Continue reading...

truth in advertising

NRA Tries to Burnish Mayors' Brand by Questioning Ad's Authenticity

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 17, 2013 01:07 PM

"Acting!" That's the NRA's much anticipated response to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" ad featuring a gun owner who admits to supporting comprehensive background checks for gun purchases.

The NRA claims that because the organization will not give out the name of the ad's star, he must be an actor. Also, because he's mishandling the gun in the ad—something no real pro-gun owner would ever, ever do—he must be a plant. Now one blog is offering a bounty on the actor's identity to prove the NRA correct.

It's the latest turn in the increasingly petty back and forth between gun rights and gun control advocates.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

BlackBerry Wants Alicia Keys and Neil Gaiman Fans to "Keep Moving"

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 19, 2013 02:43 PM

BlackBerry's new global creative director for the revamped company is featured in the first video for her part of the "Keep Moving Projects" cultural influencer project. The Grammy Award-winning musician is asking fans to use the video-editing feature on the new BlackBerry Z10 to contribute to local crowdsourced videos showcasing her current global tour.

Watch BlackBerry's video pitch to Keys fans, along with the first two episodes of author Neil Gaiman's BlackBerry project, below:Continue reading...

mobile brands

BlackBerry Popularity Rises in Wake of BB10 Launch

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2013 02:37 PM

Since the rise of the iPhone and Samsung’s cooler-than-thou pursuit of Apple’s marketshare, BlackBerry has been the butt of plenty of jokes. Once the industry leader, BlackBerry suddenly had users who weren’t excited about showing off their mobile to their pals.

Lately though, things are looking up for BlackBerry Nation. A celebrity endorsement, the change in the company’s name from Research in Motion to BlackBerry and the unveiling of the BlackBerry 10 version of the phone last month has many of those who own BlackBerrys looking to upgrade.

The latest YouGov BrandIndex report finds 43 percent of BlackBerry owners surveyed planning to purchase a new phone in the next six months, up from 18 percent last year, and plan to stick with the brand. “This is the most popular the company and its products have been in the US since September 2011,” Agence France Presse notes.

BlackBerry execs can crow about such loyalty metrics with excitement a little, but only briefly. “A year ago, it looked like their customers were going to flee, but now [loyalty] has more than doubled,” Ted Marzilli, SVP and managing director of BrandIndex, tells Marketing Daily. “But what this [data] doesn’t say is if BlackBerry is attracting people from other brands.” The big question, Marzilli points out, is if this number can sustain itself or if it’s just a brief uptick.

Apple is still kicking BlackBerry’s butt with 85 percent of its smartphone buyers looking to upgrade within the brand in the next six months, YouGov notes. Slightly more than half of Samsung smartphone owners plan the same move.

Another metric that YouGov measures is brand perception and marketing buzz, asking survey participants if they’ve heard anything about the brand in the previous two weeks. Through its own scoring system, YouGov has had BlackBerry at near zero since December, but it has now gone up to seven. Samsung is at 16 and Apple is only one point higher. The latter has actually been falling on the list since its high of 38 in October when the iPhone 5 hit store shelves.

So, BlackBerry is pulling itself back up and getting back into the fight, right? It’s preparing to play the part of Rocky and take on the seemingly unstoppable machine of Ivan Drago (ad played by the iPhone). Well, it’s got a lot of work to do.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

Gimmick or Gold Mine, 'Creative Director' Brand Craze Adds Timberlake to Ranks

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 8, 2013 03:24 PM

The list reads like a Who’s Who of A-list celebrities: Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham, Swizz Beatz, will.i.am. But it's not a concert bill.

Instead, it's a list of stars who have recently agreed to serve as creative directors for brands — a trend that seems to blur the lines between star bling and business acumen.

Bud Light Platinum is the latest, announcing this week that it's inked deal with Justin Timberlake “to provide creative, musical and cultural curation for the brand.” The collaboration is to debut at Sunday’s 55th Grammy Awards via an ad, "Platinum Night," which features his latest single, "Suit & Tie." "Bud Light Platinum brings a refined, discerning aesthetic to beer that plays well with what I'm doing," Timberlake stated in a press release.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

Marc Jacobs Teams With Diet Coke as Celeb 'Creative Director' Trend Expands

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2013 06:12 PM

BlackBerry recently announced it's tapping the creative mind of Alicia Keys as "global creative director". Polaroid did the same with Lady Gaga. 

As of today, combine another major brand with a celebrity "creative director:" American fashion designer Marc Jacobs and Diet Coke. The soft drink, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, made the announcement just as Fashion Week is ready to kick off in New York.

Jacobs will provide general creative input and what Women's Wear Daily called "whimsical, feminine" packaging for the brand, according to the Stylecaster blog, while Diet Coke's new commercial ("Photo Booth Break") reveals Jacobs as its latest fashion designer collaboration.Continue reading...

brand roadmaps

BlackBerry Launches Post-Super Bowl Ad Campaign as Z10 Hits Canada, UK

Posted by Dale Buss on February 6, 2013 04:14 PM

BlackBerry 10 phones are available in Canada as of today. It's the company's home market, and the first place in North America where consumers can put the devices into action.

"Today is a day that many Canadians, especially members of Team BlackBerry, will never forget," the company blogged.

The debut is a significant moment for BlackBerry as it attempts to rebound in the mobile phone market it once pioneered. Its Super Bowl ad did not create much buzz, and the arrival of the keyboard-equipped BlackBerry Q10 in the crucial U.S. market is not expected until May or June, its CEO, Thorsten Heins, said today. (The Z10 is expected in the U.S. by mid-March.)

Without disclosing sales figures, the company released a statement by Heins that the Z10, which also launched last week in the UK, is off to a better sales start than all of its predecessors:

"In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada. In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone."Continue reading...

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