Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has launched a campaign to promote its newly launched red icon or the 'Splat', the symbol for action. The idea stems from the understanding that BlackBerry is an enabler of action.
Conceptualised by BBDO India, the television commercial showcases various situations and people ranging from a child who is ready to eat a piece of cake to a working woman ready to take a break, and a man who says that he is ready to jump from a flying aircraft. Through vignettes, the campaign establishes that every action taken by its users speaks its own language through the 'Splat' symbol. It is further promoted through the message, 'Action starts here'.
Krishnadeep Baruah, director, marketing, India, Research In Motion, says, "In today's fast-paced world, individuals are looking to progress and are ready to take action to be successful. Being a catalyst for action, BlackBerry understands these motivations perfectly. Action is therefore synonymous with BlackBerry and its users. Hence, our new brand campaign reflects people who are passionate about the things they do and who take action instantly with the power of BlackBerry in their hands."
Josy Paul, chairman and national creative director, BBDO India, explains, "Inherent in every BlackBerry instrument is a red spark that appears on your screen when you get a mail or message. It prompts you to immediate action. That was the observation that led us to the big idea. We realised that all the big emotions of life had a symbol but action, which is the very meaning of life, did not have a symbol. This led to the launch idea 'Action now has a symbol'. The manifesto followed in no time. The film is a simple action anthem that allows everyone to join in. Its purpose is to link BlackBerry to action in a happy, cheerful manner. It's a prelude to many more action stories to come."
BlackBerry has launched a print and outdoor campaign to take the thought forward, and is also promoting it at retail outlets.
A great action
Advertising professionals feel that while the thought 'Action starts here' is very strong, the communication fails to live up to the message.
Prathap Suthan, managing partner, Bang in the Middle, remarks, "First off, this is one of those classic global campaigns that get dumped into the country, without addressing the Indian sensibilities, vernacular and idiom. Big misjudgement of the market! I also understand that they need the brand to be pitched higher than the rest, but keeping in mind flagging sales, waning pride, and drastically diminishing brand innovativeness, the campaign ought to have been far more aggressive. The thought of multiple actions is good, but did they need them to be so U-rated?"
According to Suthan, the thought 'Action starts here' is very good, but it can't be limited to sissy actions.
"Action is a strong platform. Considering that revolutions have been brought about by texts and BlackBerry (BB) Messenger, the thought has been bullied and sullied into timidity. Imagine the power the concept has within. Imagine a global movement that could have been launched to get 'action' and its little red icon into global daily parlance. I think this thought of 'action' has phenomenal promise, and I hope they use it to their advantage. For a brand that has been literally trashed by the world, this could have been the comeback of the century. BlackBerry suddenly has become strawberry - too sweet, too gentle. It needs to explode. The 'action' has fizzled," he notes.
"Since other smartphones are fast speeding ahead of BlackBerry, this seems like the last big push from the brand, albeit a little late. Although 'Action starts here' seems like a good brief but the creative execution seems disconnected. I mean, 'going green' and 'eating a cake' seems far away from the product and its benefits," says Meraj Hasan, vice-president, strategic planning, Everest Brand Solutions.