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Posts Tagged ‘Blackberry’

Corporate ‘Fact-Checking’ Blogs: Trend or Fad?

Crack

In the wake of aggressive corporate communications moves like America’s biggest company “fact-checking” New York Times op-eds, we thought we’d check in on BlackBerry, the former best friend of Alicia Keys.

Last week, the company’s SVP of marketing announced the launch of its own “fact check portal”, which is usually the kind of thing reserved for politicians whose enemies will never believe that they have, in fact, seen the birth certificate.

So how is the portal doing so far?

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Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

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President Obama Stuck in the 80s, Causing Serious PR Issues for BlackBerry

breakfast club

Coming to a White House near you.

By now, if you have any inkling of interest in politics, you have discovered the one thing that sets President Obama apart from all other gentlemen of his ilk — his serious embrace of the greatest decade in the history of ever. Of course, I’m referring to the 1980s.

This school of thought first became popular during the final presidential debate of 2012 — Obama V. Romney: This boring crap is getting personal! The famous quip was over foreign policy and Romney hearkening back to a better day of the Cold War. To wit, Obama replied, “The 1980s are calling and they want their foreign policy back.”

Well, thanks to his choice in outdated fashion and technology, the president may be causing bad PR too.

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2014′s 10 Least Engaging Brands

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Who’s having a great 2014 so far? Airbnb, Snapchat and even—dare we say it—Facebook are doing pretty well. But what about the other side of the brand equation?

Customer loyalty consultancy Brand Keys and reporter Truman Lewis of Consumer Affairs recently published a list of 2014′s least engaging brands, which we reviewed to try and figure out why these companies are having a bad year.

Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff says the market itself often provides the best evidence of consumers’ brand assessments, and these brands’ recent performances just don’t measure up.

The bottom ten, from worst to least bad, after the jump.

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Alicia Keys’ Last Day As BlackBerry’s Global Creative Director Is January 30

alicia keysBlackBerry, in its continuing efforts to stem the tide of losses and reinvent itself in a hyper-competitive mobile market, has decided that it no longer needs the global creative director services of Alicia Keys. It was announced yesterday that January 30 will be her last day, one year after the company made a big show of appointing her to the role.

The move comes as BlackBerry looks to rebuild its customer base as the device of choice for businesses. In all honesty, with the exception of a few ads and promotional materials, it’s a little hard to pinpoint what all Keys did during the course of that year. Which isn’t really an indictment of Keys or even BlackBerry. It just goes back to the basic question of why a company chooses a celeb to be the face of its brand.

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Will Alicia Keys/BlackBerry End the Celebrity ‘Creative Director’ Trend?

shutterstock_127907183In the past we’ve commented on the ridiculousness of big brands giving “creative director” titles to celebrities who can’t open a successful movie: Justin Timberlake, Ashton Kutcher, Will.I.Am, etc. But the current “are they or aren’t they” status of Alicia Keys and BlackBerry nicely illustrates how awkward the whole trend really is.

In case you haven’t looked up from your iPhone screen in three years, BlackBerry is about to join Friendster and Pets.com in the “I knew you once” graveyard. Today the company announced that it will replace its CEO and fire 40% of its staff, but Keys apparently won’t be among that number.

While everyone insisted that Keys would be doing real-life work for the brand when they hired her, they now risk making themselves look even worse by keeping her on.

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Drake Is the Toronto Raptors’ New Brand Ambassador

Drizzle

Looks like Drizzy of “YOLO” had FOMO on repping brands’ mojo.

Today the Toronto Raptors announced that proud Canuck Drake, better known as “that kid in the wheelchair on Degrassi“, would be the team’s new “global ambassador” as part of a rebranding campaign after they finished last season at 14 games under .500.

This sort of stunt didn’t work so well for Alicia Keys at Blackberry or Justin Timberlake at Bud Light, but there’s no question that Beyoncé  and Jay-Z earned quite a few media mentions for Pepsi, Samsung and the Brooklyn Nets. Also: Drake is a reliable presence at games who’s been known to hang out with LeBron, so it’s a more natural fit than, say, Will.I.Am and Intel.

Now what will Drake do, exactly?

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Justin Timberlake Joins the Dumb ‘Creative Director’ Hiring Boom

Here is a public relations tip for brands that hire celebrities as “creative directors”:

The American public is just beginning to shake the awfulness of a recession that landed many talented and ambitious souls in the unemployment line; millions still yearn for jobs worthy of their hard work and skills.

So when your company decides to invent a job and then fill it with someone who doesn’t even need a job, you’re telling the public “We don’t understand you at all.”

We were surprised when Justin Timberlake accepted a role as Bud Light’s creative director to help the brand “… define Bud Light Platinum’s identity in the lifestyle space.” We like Mr. Timberlake. Though a huge celebrity, he seems like the kind of guy who would help you clean up after a party and crash on your couch.

He’s a regular on Saturday Night Live; he clearly has a sense of humor and a healthy sense of self-awareness. But now he joins the ranks of “people with ridiculous amounts of money who apparently need more money” that includes Alicia Keys (creative director for BlackBerry), Lady Gaga (creative director for Polaroid), and will.i.am (creative director for Intel).

What’s going on? What happened to brands hiring celebrities to appear in commercials and then calling it a day?

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RIM Spends a Ton, Rebrands Itself as…BlackBerry!

BlackBerry rebranding Alicia KeysIn case you aren’t a tech blogger, this morning’s hot story concerned the future of Research in Motion, one of America’s “most hated” brands.

Yes, people still get excited about smartphone companies that have fallen way behind the curve. Need proof? Journalists from every major publication showed up to cover today’s new product roll-out event (while sniggering under their breath). RIM, famous only for producing the BlackBerry, used the event as an opportunity to rebrand itself as…wait for it…BlackBerry.

The public already saw the new BlackBerry 10 before today’s big roll-out thanks to a badly staged PR stunt at a November Lakers game, but right now we’re more interested in the company’s decision to name “longtime Apple userAlicia Keys as its global creative director. What will she do to revitalize the brand? What will she tell her 1.6 million Instagram fans, who still can’t use BlackBerries to follow her account? And won’t she get annoyed when everyone starts comparing her to Beyoncé? We certainly would. She didn’t even play a song this morning, by the way. We feel slightly robbed.

Anyway…

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‘Skepticism’ Is One of RIM’s Many Problems

Research in Motion has got 99 problems and satisfying demand ain’t one. (Ha… groan.) Bloomberg reports that weak sales are leaving BlackBerrys and PlayBook tablets in warehouses to collect dust, the value of that inventory reaching $1 billion last quarter. Layoffs are in the offing. Losses are coming. They’ve hired JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Canada to reassess its strategy. Maybe they can do something about this.

Yesterday, trading on RIM stock was halted while CEO Thorsten Heins delivered some bad news. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that RIM is having a very hard time keeping up with Apple and the other competition.  The company is promising a new strategy, but an underlying issue the company has to overcome may be more insidious than the already huge business obstacles: “skepticism.”

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BlackBerry Takes Cheesy to a New Level With Gawker Ad

BlackBerry has placed a “sponsored” post on Gawker featuring a firm called Small Girls PR, which got its awful name presumably because the founders are short. They list their heights on the homepage of the firm’s website; both are under 5′ 5″.

The second clip in the ad stars another young female entrepreneur (above) telling the story of how she’d be absolutely lost and couldn’t possibly be quite as bold if she didn’t have her BlackBerry Bold with her at all times.

Blech.

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