'BlackBerry There Then, There Now' fan video

By Adam Zeis on 1 Apr 2013 10:14 am EDT

While BlackBerry only puts out a few big-production commercials throughout the year, BlackBerry users across the globe put out fan videos all the time. Some are quick spots just for fun while others are a bit more in-depth.

The latest that was sent in is called "BlackBerry There Then, There Now" and is more of a BlackBerry timeline than a commercial running at over three minutes long. 

The video takes us through a nostalgic trip with BlackBerry devices over the years and has a great sentimental vibe that any BlackBerry fan is sure to love. If you're a BlackBerry user you can totally relate to everything that goes on in the video and may have even owned more than a few of the devices that get shown off.

A bit of back story from the creator of the video:

I created this commercial with a Canon T4i and with the help of some friends and family because I thought it was necessary for BlackBerry to produce goodwill with consumers and have both brand loyalist and brand switchers remember their affiliation with BlackBerry at one time or another.

The commercial shows the evolution of BlackBerry, it's associations with people's lives, its departure, and its comeback as a new and improved product.

It metaphorically shows both the growth and comeback of the company this way.

There are easter-eggs in the commercial too. The date shown on the Peal when the Dad says congratulations is one of BlackBerry's peaks before its fall in the stock market. The BlackBerry chart is also in the background of the office scene from 2011. Also, much more noticeable is the hit on Apple and its recent downfall in the markets.

I really do like this video and could totally see it being a great BlackBerry ad if it were cut down on time quite a bit -- it honestly gave me a few goose bumps the first time I watched it. 

Check it out in its entirety above then drop a comment below letting us know what you think. 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

'BlackBerry There Then, There Now' fan video


Gave me goosebumps at the end. This is the type of commercial they should have had for the Super Bowl broadcast.

Yes Onelick is correct, if you watch it on YouTube the creator says it was tough to find data plans for the old phones. Also, with texts the dates are shown and he wanted to provide context.

Yes i kept grabbing my z10 every time i head a notification going off, and i was like aww its the video not my phone.

Ryan, well done my friend, it took me back to a nostalgic journey and it really hit me deep, especially the part of the peak, when dad says "so proud".

I believe this is a perfect approach of advertisement, either for those with old BBies planning to switch platforms, as for those who've never got that feeling of being with someone even if that person is far away, as we use to feel with BBM, as we feel now with our BBM friends.

BlackBerry should talk to you and negotiate this idea to use it in their campaign, it just need to be shorter, but the overall idea is perfect.

Congrats on a job well done !!

I have already contemplated a version that BlackBerry could use on a commercial scale. This narrative needed a fair bit of story telling to show the growth of the family. However, the narrative can be changed to involve others and other uses of the phone.

Thanks for the fantastic response and I'm so glad you enjoyed!

Excellent...as Oscar_E stated...a nostalgic journey. I'm pushing 57 and have had EVERY BlackBerry shown in your amazing video, including the Z10.

Thanks for the fantastic trip down memory lane...and making me realize why I continue to use a BlackBerry!!

And I still have everyone of the BlackBerry's in your amazing video.

Definitely an awesome representation of what many of us have been through in the last years with BlackBerry. My Z10 is my 7th BlackBerry and each one was a step forward to where BlackBerry is today and I'm proud to say that I have stuck in there through thick and thin. And with respect to our friends in the USA and around the world, as a Canadian, I am especially proud of this home grown tech success story. #SellLikeHell

It's great to see that pride from a Canadian. This is a company that has kept true to their core and many canadians have benefited from these truths that are self evident.

That was nice. Definitely broken me back to older BlackBerries that I have owned. Good job on the video.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 L.E.

Join the Crackberry chat room via BBM and Talk about all the good things thats going on with Blackberry and all of the new devices that are out and soon to come.... :-)

Pin# 2914F1EB

Amazing what emotions a few simple sounds can evoke and how the last 15 years of 10's of thousands of bits of my personal communication can be compressed into a 3 minute video.

Very well documented. Love the throwing of the 'apple' scene. Well done..could be use for actual commercial.

Posted via CB10

Ahhh....this is what we have with me and father now. He got a BB 9900 and I got Z10. I will ask him to watch this vid. Nicely done! Inspiring!

I thought the video was great! The creator did a great job of capturing the what makes BlackBerry so great! I could relate to four of the devices:-)Nice job!

Posted via CB10

I tried to incorporate some of the most popular models. Which were hitting with you?
Thanks for watching!

Nicely done, especially the part dropping the apple (or iPhone?) and going back to your blackberry home. Lol!

Posted via CB10

Watched it a few times. Posted on Facebook for friends to watch. Love the emotive appeal.

Like the Apple in the bin bit and also the "I'm Home" bit.

Posted via CB10

Yet another Fan made video better than an actual Blackerry Commercial. Makes you wonder the kinds of people working working at the PR and advertising devision of BBRY

lol okay i thoguht it was done by BB but it is an individual effort.

In that case, this is a really impressive job!

Ryan, this is awesome. Congratulations! I think BlackBerry should use your video. Great work and dedication.

Posted via CB10

Thanks Winston. I have contemplated a narrative that works better (and shorter) on a commercial scale. Maybe someone at BlackBerry would like to overhaul some of their marketing aspects.

Cool video I guess. Some of you guys need to calm down though. "I almost Cried" really?

Posted via CB10

BB should do an edited version of this type of ad for web and TV. Apple in the trash is awesome - great work, Ryan! Makes me feel nostalgic for my old BB - good times! :-)

Awesome video....hope u n ur high school sweetheart still together. Or maybe u disagree lol either way, awesome!

Posted via CB10


An amazing video. It is amazing how all of us here have commented about going down memory lane. It is awesome to know that so many of us can relate to an event or a message just by the sound of a notification.
Again, great job. Need to send you to Waterloo to show them how it is done.

Would love to show those whippersnapeprs a thing or two about creating content for their consumer base!
Thanks so much!

Good video. I felt that the old BlackBerry stuff was a little over done (too long) but the showcasing of the older phones, how they helped over the years was a great approach. Glad it was seen as a consumer product and not just for stuffy old Dad doing business was good too.

The response video could be amusing: the battery pulls, the fights with spouses because you can not leave the damn thing alone etc

Posted via CB10

So, you'd like to me create somewhat of a parody version depicting when the BlackBerry's in our lives affected ourselves and those around us in more humorous ways perhaps?

Well done! Very cool video. I think BB could take this video and get it cut down to commercial length. It would be a great way to get people that have left BB to remember what is so special about BB.

A lot of work! Just choosing the subtitles to use was agonizing.
It's just myself. I had to organize people around me to help create the video. Thankfully, I had a great group of friends and family who would help when I asked!

Excellent video!! This is what a BlackBerry video should be about. Make the people remember what made BlackBerry #1. This guy should submit it to BlackBerry execs. I live the part where he throws the apple in the trash ;)

Posted via CB10

When I think about all the information that little screen (first monochrome, then colour) has shown me over the past 13 years it's amazing. There are times I dreaded pulling my trusty BlackBerry from it's holster, knowing that the notification I had just received was not going to be good news. Then there are the times that I have yanked the BB from the hip before the notification had even finished because I knew it was about to show me something awesome.

Wow that was fantastic! The music really went with the narrative you were telling. It was nice seeing BB evolve through the years too.

The video needs to be blackberry's next tv commercial worldwide. Extremely well done, seeing the old 7250 nearly brought tears to my eyes (my first BB-built like a tank).
There are many many others who may have moved to other devices that remember fondly the sounds these devices make in the video.wish I had those sounds on my zed 10!!!!
"BlackBerry - time to come Home" would make a killer tag line for a new BlackBerry ad campaign.

Posted via CB10

I agree. I felt the idea of "Having the time of your life" and remembering past experience and then "Coming Home" is powerful.
That old 7250 has been through a lot! I have thrown that phone around and it still keeps on going!

Ryan, that was stunning work. Anyone who has ever truly connected with another human being will respond to this. Something will resonate within. My hat is off to you!

Great commercial!!! If you don't mind me asking are you in the marketing field and if not you should seriously consider it.

I just got my degree in marketing from University of Ottawa. Currently, I work at a bank while doing some part-time acting but I've always loved creating marketing content. I like to look at companies whose marketing efforts aren't resonating with consumers and develop strategies I would employ if I was their marketing director.

phenomenal job...hats off to this individual...he/she needs to be recruited my Thorsten personally...I truly love the video!

Did someone noticed that the apple that he threw was green and the other one was red... Anyway, awesome job! I loved the video, it makes me think about how fast the time is passing. I remember when I bought my first BlackBerry :') it was magical!

Posted via CB10

Loved this video, and loved the tagline "There Then, There Now." Just seems perfect for those who have followed BlackBerry for a long time. Reminds me of Google's "Having a baby" commercial for the Nexus 10 in terms of something that a lot of people would be able to relate to.

BlackBerry's marketing department will have viewed this and unfortunately take no lesson from it. They'd rather pay millions to an agency to create a TV spot that features some clown rolling from scene to scene. Ryan's spot conveys the emotional appeal BlackBerry's ad campaign needs. WAKE UP BLACKBERRY MARKETING!

When I saw the Superbowl advertisement BlackBerry created I was essentially horrified that their "product marketing" strategy was to play a pompous role showing everything the Z10 couldn't do (Essential it showed nothing it could actually do) to imply it could do "almost anything".
The company made the expectation for consumers to do their own research. While I would agree consumer research on a product is necessary, it didn't provide an enticing theme to be excited about learning the product features.
A mini-rant from me. Their "product marketing" approach merely brand marketed the company in a unflattering and frankly dull light for me.

I agree they took a completely incorrect approach with their most expensive TV spot ever. Your concept is one I actually had in mind for the Super Bowl ad. Show BlackBerry's role throughout the years naturally featuring innovation, fun, work, etc. Aim for a stirring response, even if the viewer has never owned a BlackBerry. And prominently display the Z10 at the end as if to say "We're back." and/or "We never left."

I the idea of them showing their faults and saying they were "gone"... not necessarily they left completely, but they were absent and they came "home". It shows certain character to admit faults and take responsibility instead of covering it up and I would have loved that as a humble approach.

^saw that commercial...

I honestly love this video. I've had probably over 5 blackberries through my life, and then like lots of others, went to iphone and android...now back with the Z10. I feel a connection with this video and my blackberry was always with me through all the times, always worked, even with the small problems we all had with them over the years. they always turned on in the morning and lasted through the day for us.

Sweet video..job well done. Ryan you better look out for a call from BB, they may need your input on thier next commercial. This commercial could be in my opinion the turning point in the public perception of the BB brand where they was and where will be when all is said and done.

Watched it, enjoying it. Watched if again, loving it. Liked and shared. As one of BlackBerry fans, I appreciate and proud of your high quality work. Thank you for your efforts. Well done my friend. : )

Posted via CB10

Nice one, truly enjoyed. Appeals ton those that used the devices and want to come back and to the new adopters of this great Brand.

Keep it flowing and BlackBerry should use this from you

Posted via CB10

I wish Blackberry wouldn't be afraid of commercials that pull on the heart strings of people? I do like the few they've made lately, but I feel that a shorter version of an ad like this would be a better approach. Great Stuff!

This was definitely meant to be web content given its length. However, I have a shorter version in mind that works for commercial level appeal. Thanks! :D

lmaooooo!!! loved the video....but y iam i thinking the apple part is taking a JAB @ apple/iphones....thought tht was brilliant..hahahaha!!!love it!!

A jab isn't necessary a bad thing, like a friendly tap of competition. A respectable competitor never disrespects an opponent. Like Android and their commercial of Apple customers in line to get the phone vs the galaxy. I would not consider this to be a low-blow. Its competition, if we didn't compete the product market would be stagnant and there would be no innovation.

this video should b in circulation..on all channels!!! and who ever made this should b paid" ..loved it "lol

Very nice commercial. Well done. But relax, people who are crying...it's a PHONE. Just an electronics device. It has no feelings. Yikes. I loved all the BBs I've had over the years, but I don't get teary over them.

Solid video! The hints and the quality was not bad at all - even the below the waist view in the beginning was done right.

The most important part of this video ... showing beyond the brand name, sms/bbm communications ... it showed what mattered most: PEOPLE! People and their interactions amongst one another. How technology was just simply an enabler to get the things we needed to get across quickly.

I really hope those in Marketing at BlackBerry take particular notice of this video.

A Loyal fan with great passion for an awesome company. Thank you for taking us back to memory lane and taking the time to respond to most of us. Great future and hope BlackBerry is involved. All the best.

This is what I like about BB and BB fans. It was a great commercial and well narrated. Also, you could have did so many negative things with that other fruit... but you chose to show how it was good but only for a little while. I like that, good job. Adam was right, it gave me goosebumps.

No one likes an overly critical person - No one likes an overly critical advertisement.
It was a jab. A recognition of competition but there isn't a undertone of ill will or hatred.
I'm glad you recognized it was subtle enough and doesn't warrant anything more.

Great video!! I'm touched by this video.. I remember my first Blackberry is Curve 8310, its almost 6 years ago, and Pearl, Torch and now Z10. Dear Blackberry, this is have to be your Blackberry Commercial Ad Campaign!

Powerful presentation Ryan! LOVED It! Really brought things that matter most (loved ones, friends, time of needs) to the foreground, and the Blackberry phone present. Instant communication throughout. And the evolution PERFECT! Wishing you great success in marketing, or your dreams... :)

I'm embarrassed to say, but that video put a lump in my throat. Don't know if it was the sad music or the lack of any love shown for the Storms or the Torch 9850/60. I feel discarded sense those are the only BlackBerry phones I've owned and loved. :'(