BlackBerry listened. The "Splat" has officially been rebranded to the "Spark"

Spark Wall
By Kevin Michaluk on 26 Jan 2013 09:32 am EST

Back in August 2012, we asked CrackBerry Nation what new name should be given to BlackBerry's red circle with white asterisk symbol. Internally at Research In Motion, the symbol was long nicknamed and referred to as the splat (the original symbol looked a lot like a tomato being thrown at a wall). The splat has been a visible graphic within the BlackBerry operating system for years, but more recently began showing up in BlackBerry advertising as part of BlackBerry's Action Starts Here campaigns.

With the splat beginning to take a more visible role in BlackBerry branding, we couldn't help but think it needed a more inspired name. So we asked our CrackBerry readers for suggestions and after picking our top five favorites we ran a poll asking CrackBerry Nation to vote on their favorite. As the votes came in, one name emerged victorious above all others, and that name was the Spark. While we decided that from there on out here on CrackBerry we'd call the little red guy the BlackBerry Spark, we never actually thought it would carry on all the way up the chain and take over as the official name.

Reading over this blog post and having some conversations with employees at Research In Motion, it looks like BlackBerry loved the new Spark name too. The splat is no more and the BlackBerry Spark will live on forever. Huge props go to CrackBerry member black.rhino for being the first to suggest the spark name. It just goes to show that BlackBerry does listen to their fans. Amazing!

At CrackBerry HQ in Toronto we're all sparked out like crazy -- sparks on the walls, floor and ceiling -- wherever we can find room. And we're getting a lot of good work done here. So it's clearly true - Action begins with a Spark!


Reader comments

BlackBerry listened. The "Splat" has officially been rebranded to the "Spark"


Love it when we have proof that RIM really listens to the CB readers and takes what we say and feel to heart.

Love it, go RIM! Now I think we need a NEW COMPANY LOGO. The current one looks old and boring, we need a modern and cool looking one! Who's with me on this?

The BlackBerry logo or the Research in Motion logo ? If its the BlackBerry logo then I'm dead set against it

Shout out to black.rhino for coming up with the name. Methinks RIM should reward him with a free BB10 device and me as well for suggesting they reward him hehe!!!

That's great that CrackBerry ponied up some cash for him to use in the store, but RIM adopting Spark is very different from CB adopting it. RIM should definitely reward him with something.

I really do like the Spark, but I can't help but remember the flag they made in the show Community - "E Pluribus Anus". Just saying. that sparky thing....i will get used to of it..eventually....till then, that star thing would work too...

Thorsten is WAY better at listening to the consumer. I used to feel that RIM did things their way or no way. They didn't care about  users input. With Thor behind the wheel, though, that has all changed. YAY!!!

(If my phone repaired shoes, It'd be a blackberry cobbler.)

From the site I mentioned above:

Q: Is the Walmart logo a registered trademark?
A: Yes. “Walmart”, the Spark, “Save money. Live better.” Are all registered trademarks of Walmart Stores Inc. Registration is usually indicated by the symbol ®.

FTR, I love the s---k. It's the right move to make it a focal point of the campaign. It's just the wrong name, and more has been done with less when it comes to litigation.

I saw that on their website, too. Notice how only the words "Walmart" and their slogan (Save money. Live Better.) are in quotes. No quotes around The Spark. I think only the actual symbol they refer to as The Spark is trademarked and not the name of it. But I'm no lawyer, so we'll just see what happens. Personally, I like the name "spark" for that BlackBerry icon.

Walmart's Spark would be, in my estimation, no different than Nike's Swoosh or Apple's usage of 'i'. And, given RIM's past with the unforced error of BBX, I'm afraid they may have gone asleep at the wheel here. It's a cease-and-desist waiting to happen.

That's not the point; Nike's logo is called a Swoosh and Walmart's is called a Spark. No one is arguing that the logos are similar, it's the branding that is potential copyright infringement.

Read twice, respond once.

Apple seems to often include some kind of logo sticker or applique in the new product boxes, maybe RIM can start supplying "spark" stickers in the box with their products?

I'd love it if they did that. I actually grabbed a bunch of Spark stickers while I was at Jam Americas because I love that little icon so much.

Rino deserves a FREE BlackBerry 10. If you don't give him one, he may charge for use of the name. It's his ... and he should be rewarded. If not a phone, then give him a brand new cleaning cloth at least.

How and where can we get/but these Spark stickers ????????? You guys must be getting them from somewhere ??????

In the movie "Pulp Fiction" Butch is running away from Marcellas Wallace and passes a phone booth, pay attention and you'll notice a symbol that resembles the Spark symbol. I think it's interesting.

CrackBerry Is My Choice Of Drug

I've always called that icon a 'spang' myself... I guess spark is more market friendly, but spang is a funnier word.

The BlackBerry website posted a blog in which the symbol was referred to as the "Spark" on Dec. 13, 2012, so it seemed to catch on at least by that time

"... In August, they launched an initiative called “Action Starts Here” with the goal of inspiring people to take action to get things done. The symbol of this charge is the BlackBerry “spark” — the white star icon with a red background on your BlackBerry device — which has been known to inspire action in more than a few people I know. The teams opened the response up to the community to share their own “action item” they wanted to perform."

* Another blog post on Jan. 23, 2013 refers to this symbol explicitly as the "Spark":


Sparking a mobile revolution, action starts here. BlackBerry.

Alright that is pretty cool! Now I feel like I've been a little part of BlackBerry 10!
Thanks for the props guys! Made my day! I'm certainly not owed anything by RIM or CrackBerry; generously hooked me up with a store gift card for winning the original contest. Thanks again!

So, RIM decided to change it to give them another chance for a lawsuit...brilliant...I'm pretty sure Walmart is going to have something to say about the "Spark"...they should really do some research before branding things...

That spark thing has NOTHING TO DO with the wal-mart bullshit okay? OKAY? It looks NOWHERE NEAR IT!!

Funny that when everyone came up with a name for it, I came up with SPARK and was not even mentioned. I should get a Z10 for my efforts, please. I need a bit of a spark in my life right now after just having mouth surgery friday.

Springsteen said it best "You can't start a fire without a Spark"

The blacker the berry the sweeter the use...