R-I-M Speedwagon
Don Scansen posted on September 26, 2012 |


With well over 200,000 views on YouTube at present, there is a very good chance you have already seen the very well-produced music video that debuted at RIM's developer event in San Jose. I don't have any reports of the house coming down or not at the BlackBerry Jam Americas launch on Monday.

RIM stock was lifted - as some analysts surmise - on the news of the new BB 10 OS and its capabilities. I think the video probably had as much to do with it. Unfortunately for RIM, the YouTube attention span is short. Kudos to the PR folks at RIM for pulling this together. It was very well done. They pulled out all the stops here to get their message out due to earlier confusion.

I myself commented on the mixed messages coming out of RIM with respect to BB 10 and hardware form factors. Was RIM raising a white flag to the touch screen? The music video will help to correct some of the messaging issues since it has attracted media attention. No one should excuse RIM management for making the strategic errors and poorly executed marketing of the past, but their video concept appears capable of more retroactive image repair than most campaigns.

But if my engineering brethren will excuse me while put on my PR hat for a few  minutes, there could still be a problem with this approach. Kudos to RIM for getting a video up with such viral potential. I think it's cool, but then again, so will many people my age. Is that the demographic RIM wants to remain associated with? REO Speedwagon's hit was in 1980. It's a great tune, but the younger generation may not agree. Maybe it's not just the developers that RIM wants to keep on lovin'. It could be those legions of civil servants who are armed with BlackBerries who will have them pried from their cold, dead fingers.

I hope Samsung doesn't make hay with that grey image as they did with Apple iPhone 5 launch line parodies. 

Yes Thorsten, we have all seen these are challenging times. They might have been less so had RIM realized earlier that cellular data speeds would improve with time and true mobile computing platforms would replace simple messaging devices. 

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