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Behind the scenes of the BlackBerry Super Bowl commercial

By Adam Zeis on 4 Feb 2013 09:10 am EST
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The BlackBerry Super Bowl commercial has received mixed reviews so far - some loved it and some hated it (I thought it was great). It was the first ad run during the Super Bowl by BlackBerry and kicks off a BlackBerry Z10 marketing campaign that will bring more carrier-centric ads in the coming weeks. 

If you're curious as to what went in to making the ad, BlackBerry has posted up a short video that takes us behind the scenes and shows off some of the effects that made the commercial happen. Check out the video above where Robert Glen of BlackBerry and Alex Bird of AMV BBDO (the firm that made the ad) talk a bit how it all happened. 

Reader comments

Behind the scenes of the BlackBerry Super Bowl commercial

51 Comments

Probably because it was the most highly rated, above ads by Budweiser, a NFL sponsor and marketing partner who pays the NFL lots of money each year.

I liked it. If it's the beginning of a trend of new commercials, then it makes perfect sense. If this is a "one-shot" deal, then I would change my views on how good it was. I look forward to an onslaught of marketing from/for BlackBerry!

PLEASE find out why the Super Bowl commercial was removed. The NFL website is still ranking the Bud commercial as #2 even with the BlackBerry commercial gone. This is total B.S.!

Well, many of you guys fail to realize that there is a lot of money spending out there for BB10 not to make it. From the FCC to the biggest players in the cell phone industry to the carriers. Lobbyists are everywhere, not just in the government, they are everywhere.
But, no matter what they do, BB10 will make it and BB10 will make it big. Remember, GOD don't like ugliness.
Now, please try to understand why we are in the bottom list to get BB10.

ya no sign of it anywheres!! Even Yahoo had a site with Superbowl commercials and it wasnt on there..........

Any idea when they shot the commercial? I was just at Paramount a couple months back. It's kinda cool looking through my pics and seeing right where they shot it.

Crackberry Kevin! Time to make some calls and find out why the commercial has been removed from the official nfl site!! Is BBRY aware of this, was it part of the advertising agreement? If not, they should seek damages or recover part of their fees or something from this

Wait a second, it can't be that they pulled it themselves due to some people complaining about it right? I mean it was doing well in the voting, so that wouldn't make sense... Right?

Awful commercial. Honestly should've just aired the youtube spot about reinventing themselves. People presently have their minds set on what BBs can't do so a commercial showing what the phone can't do doesn't dispel the current perception. Looks like marketing is still a weak link. Samsung's and Apple's commercials work because they give you one highlight feature of the device and focus on that feature in the commercial. They replicate the same formula in another spot focusing on another feature and consumers gobble it up because they put it in their face. I didn't even understand the rubber ducks and elephant legs; seems like just having the phone make coffee would've been more effective since it's one of the most common "does it also do".

How could they fit that 2+ minute advert into a 30 second commercial without losing the message. I don't think people realize how short 30 seconds is.

I personally think they should have shelled out the extra cash to buy up 2 or 3 spots and shown the reinventing themselves spot. But showing the device making coffee could easily be done in a 30 sec spot if they had time to make the guy disappear into a puff of rainbow smoke or have elephant legs or step on rubber duckies. Guy wakes up to his device making coffee and checking/answering his emails...simple, to the point and fully executable in 30 seconds.

This commercial was awesome. Totally captured my attention. It showed the shape, size, full screen and how easy and smooth it operates.

The commercial hit it's point and has driven interest to find out more about the phone. In reality they would have failed to try and show you everything it can do.

Awesome.

Shrug. I liked it. After the initial "wtf" moment I thought it was pretty clever, plus it was flashy. Unlike samsung's 2 minute bore-torture

I think the big news today regarding this commercial is how the NFL has pulled it from their commercial website. I checked out the site last night and it was indeed in 1st place, and by quite a decent margin. This morning however, it's nowhere to be found. Conveniently, Budweiser (a primary NFL sponsor), and Samsung (who have an NFL partnership and have previously run super bowl campaigns), have moved way up...overnight. It just seems so shady. If anyone finds out what exactly happened, please post.

EDIT: Just checked the NFL website and it's BACK! Still at #1 as well, despite not being up for the last 8 hours or so....

Is it memorable ? - No
Does it excite your curiousity? - No
Is it a waste of money? -Yes
The "Keep moving" commercial is even better than this Superbowl dull explosion of so what it can do commercial > really / explosion of duckies ...?

Sadly, for everyone not inside crackberry.com's commenting sections and forums, BB is all but dead. They either don't know BB just put out a new device, or they are pegging it as a last ditch hail mary attempt.

To me THAT is BB's biggest hurdle, and one I do not think they will clear. Too little, too late. And this coming from someone owning both Storms and actually holding off until the Z10 came out to upgrade from my current android device... until I saw what it finally was. No thanks :(

That was not a good superbowl commercial at all. You need to get $3.7 million back because that was not worthy at all

I thought Crackberry.com had some creative, think outside of the box, out of the mold, visionary mofos. Only to realize most of them are still in the cookie-cutter league. This video was very good. Pay attention to the damn message! Also, a reliable source has mentioned that this is the preamble to a series of commercials that will cater to you simple minded folks. The source also mentioned that most people would not like it because they would not get the message. However, there is actually a method to the madness.

Oh, by the way, I would like to say I just got off the phone with FIDO and I shall be picking up my new Blackberry Z10 tomorrow morning. Konichiwa b&*&%$!

I got the message just like everyone else did. It just was not a superbowl worthy commercial when you have multiple parts to it and you do not show the other parts. They would have been better served to show this after the superbowl along with the other parts IMO.

This wasn't an issue of not receiving the message. It was an issue of it being a bad commercial not worth almost $4 million of airtime for one of the most captivated audiences that you can get in one spot. That's why many companies try to go all out during these spots. With 110+ million viewers, you don't waste that opportunity. Also, watching the commercials have become "water cooler" talk over the years so they are very much a part of the Super Bowl watching experience; even people who are not into football enjoy the commercials and engage.

If you know anything about marketing/advertizing; before you drop big $$ down on a 30 second ad, you need to know "who is your target market". The average Super Bowl fan is neither a "techy" or a "blogger" on Crackberry.

These are mostly people who buy phones that look or are perceived as "cool" like the iPhone. Yes there are some who also do look at specs, however even many of these people still buy what makes them fell good (ie: think auto sales).

That said; all that the ad needed to do is get their attention and get them to ask more about it. So, when people say "Did you see that BB ad? What the heck was that about", it served its purpose to get people talking about BB. Later ads can accomplish other things, but with the help of already having their attention on the BB brand from this ad.

Not to mention, it could also be a shot at some of the reviewers who are saying "what's so different or new about the Z10 then any other phone out there. It's just doing similar things that other phones do". Their message could also be, "Guess what, yes it's a Smart Phone not something that will also make you breakfast" and "However, the Z10 does do some things that the other phones don't do that is important to our current customer base and maybe some of the 55% that don't have smart phones because the ones out there are not addressing their need.

Guess the real question is if the ad really did get people to say "did you see the BB ad? What the heck was that about"

I'm curious to know if the commercial resonated interest or indifference.

All of this reasoning and rationalizing shouldn't be necessary for an ad.
Doritos = taste good, have fun eating them.
Tide = takes out stains tougher than Joe Montana
Budwiser = drink, be cool, oh yeah...the clydesdales are pretty cool looking horses, don't ya think?
Audi = be different (went to prom alone), be brave (kissed the prom queen with the king there)

All the BB ad needed to do was say "we created the smartphone and we're recreating the smartphone once again". That's it, nothing more.

Different approach...I do like your hook.

Not saying you are wrong; that is normally what could be done. However, we are talking about a brand that everyone has been bashing for years. Do you believe most people would say "this new BB is relevant and cool" after hearing "we created the smartphone and we're recreating the smartphone once again", or just keep up with "BB is dying or dead"?

Don't know and that's their biggest hurdle. From what I hear from those around me who switched to Android or iOS is that they would come back to BB because they preferred it for email and communications but what's stopping them is....well we all really know what's stopping them. It's up to BB to give those people, who still remember what using that device meant to their productivity, the flip side of what they get out of the iOS/Android devices.

I think it was good, any other commercial showing features or the are Super Bowl one would have lost people's attention especially at a Super Bowl.

I just hope that before the March USA release, they have most of the issues/complaints ironed out and introduce a solid OS here. Our media and public are not very forgiving or patient to wait for any issues to be resolved. Hoping for at least one update before then (and that they are actively reading all reviews and posts on the intial BB 10 OS released).

Again, more idiots who keep bashing blackberry and the ad. Only a handful (I think 30%) realize it's such a great ad and the amount of EFFORT put into it.

If you don't know marketing, and you don't give a flying stinkbomb about how much time, effort and money it even costs to MAKE AN ADVERTISEMENT, then you seriously need to educate yourself allot more. BACK TO SCHOOL FOR YOU!!!

I don't know squat about marketing, but I know the blackberry team did the best. The ad ROCKED just like kevin said (I say this before I even read about him saying it rocked), and you need to realise what the hell the team went through JUST TO MAKE IT.

Learn to APPRECIATE it.