BlackBerry launches new campaign for ‘people of action’

By James Richardson on 14 May 2012 12:52 pm EDT

Here in the UK we got to see the premiere of RIM's new TV advertising campaign at prime time on Saturday night. Judging by the responses on Twitter, viewers had a mixed reaction, however I'm personally impressed that RIM is trying something a little different.

They today released the following press release regarding the campaign:

This Saturday (12th May 2012) saw BlackBerry launch its brand new TV advertising campaign during the final of the nation's most popular entertainment show. The ad had its inaugural airing during a break in ITV 1 show Britain's Got Talent as part of a multi-million pound global campaign to celebrate people of action and highlight the strengths of BlackBerry's latest smartphones and tablets.

The engaging advertising campaign sees a series of simple images, paired in such a way as to showcase the juxtaposition between active and inactive choices. Based on the key insight that BlackBerry users are people of action and that BlackBerry devices facilitate action, the fun and quirky scenes include a pair of slippers versus a pair of ballet shoes, a cookery book versus a take-away and a group of friends on a sofa versus a group on an amusement park ride. Real-life actors, cartoon imagery and computer graphics have been incorporated into the advert which culminates with the imposing statements; "There are people who don't. And there are people who do," followed by the thought-provoking question, "Do you?"

Directed by Kevin Thomas, who can attribute commercials for Mini Cooper, American Express and Adidas to his credit, the first 40 second ad will also be followed by two 30 second versions in addition to a 60 second cinema edit to go live nationwide from the beginning of June.

Sarah Probert, Senior Director of Brand Marketing and Communication at RIM comments: "We are excited about the launch of our new BlackBerry campaign and are looking forward to consumers engaging with the content from this weekend. Our intention with this advert and our campaign as a whole is to celebrate the idea of choice. We all make choices every day and BlackBerry is there to help the consumer make those decisions and achieve their goals".

Reader comments

BlackBerry launches new campaign for ‘people of action’


I like the hammers. It shows that the blackberry is a tool and that the competitors are producing toys.

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Yeah! that's really sticking it to those Apple sheep. Oh, by the way, you stupid, do nothing, Apple sheep, buy our product. Thanks. Yep, that should work.

This is really bad. It is marketing to the customers they already have. It doesn't reach out to other demographics. In fact it insults them. It kind of made me feel creepy about being part of their crowd.

I think they need to reach out to hiptsers, teens, soccer moms, etc. Apple has shown that establishing demand in consumer market acts as a trojan to other areas like business, where iPhones are popping up everywere.

I really hope the new CMO puts a stop to stuff like this, and the wake up campaign. Let Samsung play ball like that, not RIM.

RIM'S biggest challenge is keeping current customers from switching. This ad targets current customers, and that's not a bad thing.

I think you'll find that BlackBerry is the No1 smartphone in the UK, so advertising to their existing customers (although I don't agree with you that they are exclusively doing that with this campaign)is not necessarily a bad thing.

I would agree that *maybe* the same campaign, in it's current format, would not necessarily work in the US, this is a UK targetted campaign.


Insults other demographics?
You mean like Apple did with the Apple vs PC commercials?

Seems to have worked o.k. for them... just saying'.

I like the shot at 0:46 of the two types of tourists. On the left you can see the guy on the right in the background (top right corner). That blew me away! LOL! xD

Decent advertisement. Catchy song in the background, and the commercial makes its point. I agree though that they shouldn't be making fun of apple or any company for that reason. Point of the ad is to sell blackberry phones and that is it.

The great thing is, I don't think it really "goes negative"... the images on the left aren't insulting, just dull.

I like the ad. It uses some rather clever imagery and editing and tells a story very cleverly.

RIM has done worse.

some see the glass as half empty while others see it as half full.

i find it funny that i identified more with the "those who don't" group on the left. does that mean BB isn't for me?


nah, i'm still getting a BB10 device

It doesn't explicitly say anything against anyone identifiable -ipeople see themselves in the sheep, then that is a personal moment of insight. Same for anyone and any image in there.
I think it is pretty good -clever and entertaining without being heavy handed. : )


It's much more a series of gentle tweaks than an outright insult. I think Samsung's ad taking a shot at the Apple fans lined up down the block was more insulting.

But it is so much funnier watching people get Samsung'ed.

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I like the commercial itself, but don't like that it doesn't show off the phone.

People need to see the phone and features. They need to show it as cool and it can do things. Both samsung and apple show off the phones and features. And they are selling.

The commerical simply points out there are people that do and people that don't. RIM is doing it to associate their platfor with accomplishing something or doing something active. If that means stepping on a few toes then so be it. RIM gets kicked all the time, it was a matter of time before retaliation came. I'm pleased it's in a more playful manner.

I don't know. When you pair this with the Austrailian campaign, is it smart to insult your potential clients? The two main styles of advertising are to either threaten customers with being dumb or unacceptable if they don't buy the product, or to create coolness and desire for the product. So, even tho parts of this ad are entertaining, what do I know at the end of it? This would only work if there is a quick follow-up with ads showing what BlackBerries do that would make those on other platforms want one.

Come on, RIM! Show coolness, functionality, brilliant inovation! Take back the world! Comedy is entertaining, but I am not so sure how many devices it will sell.

It's a marketing tactic that has been done countless other times. By making unattractive/unfavourable association to a product, the users of that product will eventually will want to wean off from using it in fear of being associated with all the images/ideas that are being represented.

There are many consumers out there that will buy a product based on what they represent or the image that comes along with it. Look at some of the commercials that Apple ran for their computers, they made owning a "PC" less attractive and owning a MAC "cool".

Many of these ad campaigns are pretty obvious, but many more are subliminal in nature. A beer company becomes the "official beer" of a sports league. People are then led to believe that if they are a fan of this certain sports league, they must drink this beer.

You can agree or disagree wtih me, but this is an effective way to grab back market share since its shown that technical specs and functionality alone isn't enough to garner market share.

Image and brand is everything to a large portion of the market segmentation. Is Advil that much better than a generic ibuprofen to justify the price difference?

Unlike several people on here who see this ad as insulting, I see the ad as aspirational and could inspire people to do more with their lives. I think many people, including myself, associate with several of the images on the left, but I don't think many of those people are proud of that fact... especially not enough so as to become offended. I don't think many people are "proud" to eat take-out when they could learn to cook gourmet meals, or proud to sit on a couch watching others lives when they could be doing more with their own. Although many may see their lives reflected in one or more of the "people who don't" images, I believe those same people aspire for better. And to me, that's what this ad says... If you do, or you want to do more with your life, BlackBerry is the tool to help you.

If you're actually proud to be associated with MANY of the images on the left, then it probably doesn't matter that you become offended... Because with a lifestyle like that, odds are you are not in the position of being a trend-setter or taste-maker.

I like the commercial.

IMO it doesn't make fun of competitor phone users. The picture with the sheep is matched with a BlackBerry sheep dog...iPhone users won't be offended...only crackberry users will know it's an iSheep : D

The person watching the commercial will think about being more active, making valuable use of time...with a BlackBerry

Apple spent years insulting PC users. I say it's a very creative ad and they need more.

..... and highlight the strengths of BlackBerry's latest smartphones and tablets.

Where was the highlighting of strengths?

For those that might criticize this commercial because it might offend those that have iPhones, I suppose the Apple commercial that said "if it's not an iPhone" any better and less insulting?

Give me an F'n break! Stop crying, turn off your device and get a life. If you don't have one, I'm sure there's an app for that...

thought the ad was brilliant...subtle and to the point. It makes you want to look at the ad again and again to figure out pictures and what they mean. Good job Rim.

OK...I call bullshit on Crackberry's part...I put a very coesive repost to this shitty ad, and guess what? My comment was pulled, even though I have had two BlackBerry's that I LOVED. Seems that Kevin and his croney's, seeing the dark end of the tunnel, will NOT let a person who HAS a friggin' Bold 9930, make a relevent comment on here. SO in the words of Bernie Mac..."FUCK YOU! and FUCK YOU against a wall with crazy glue on yo mo-fuckin' hands." Guess because of yo' Monkey Ass...I will get an iphone. and again...."FUCK YOU!!"

I'm sorry to vent so trashy, but, It seems that even though you OWN any kind of BlackBerry, On this site you have to GUSH and GAFFAW how fantastic RIM is, or you're a troll, or an Apple Fan Boi or an Android lover. But, Unlike some who get thier devices for free, I have to pay MY hard earn money for any smartphones, Tablets...etc. So being a smart consumer, I DO have the right to either extoll the virtues of a BlackBerry, or bitch an complain if it doesn't meet a normal criteria of what a smartphone should be in 2012!, not friggin' 2009!. And If Kevin deems that Crackberry should be just a Gush-Guffaw "How Much Rim is the greatest", then it's no better than BGR with thier anti-RIM rants. At least on imore, people do exchange pros and cons. OS10 HAS NOT even been released, and Kevin is gushing like it' the second coming.

Engadget pulls my comments on their site all the time, but then they are Apple can't take these comment boards too serious...most show up for the laughs! As for BB phones being updated....I have the old Bold 9000. I won't buy another phone until BB10....couldn't be is a solid device for talking, BBM, and email etc. Gaming? That's for my Playbook as it is a larger screen for my phone so to speak.....As for the Ad! Well if it kicked a few isheep, so be it. They kick RIM and BB users on every website 24/7.