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.
The part we get: BlackBerry is trying in earnest to reach the youths. They’ve cast smart upstarts who do something digital and take fashion inspiration from Zooey Deschanel. And it’s on Gawker, which speaks the language of the millennials, right? They heard that somewhere. “Hey, young people,” the videos cry out, “this device has Facebook and Twitter! And you can read your Gawker on it.”
One problem is the cheese factor. These videos are soooooo cheesy.
The other is it seems out of step with what the company said during its quarterly earnings a couple of months ago. At that time, Research in Motion said that it was going to target corporate customers to “build on [its] strength.” The company is in trouble in the U.S. and it’s flailing as it tries to find a place for the BlackBerry system in a world of Apple and Android devices. Are these the corporate customers they’re targeting?
Last week, Research in Motion hired a new CMO, Frank Boulben, who was previously EVP of strategy and marketing at LightSquared. (That company filed for bankruptcy yesterday.)
The company hasn’t had a CMO since 2011, which may explain these ads. Even the CEO, Thorsten Heins, says the company needs to improve its marketing.