BlackBerry ad calms customers during “challenging times”
October 15, 2013 | Chris Powell | Comments
Plagued by dwindling sales, significant financial losses and a conditional agreement that would see it acquired by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings for $4.7 billion (a fraction of its former value), Waterloo, Ont.-based tech company BlackBerry is attempting to assure a skittish user base that it still has a future.
The company on Tuesday unveiled a global newspaper campaign informing consumers that they can continue to count on the onetime tech darling. BlackBerry’s media relations department told Marketing the company wasn’t doing interviews, but said the text-only ad is appearing in 30 publications in nine countries (see below). In Canada, the ad appeared in both the National Post and The Globe and Mail.
Addressed to BlackBerry’s “valued customers, partners and fans,” the ad acknowledges the recent headlines surrounding the company, but tells readers “You can continue to count on BlackBerry.”
The ad informs readers that the company has “substantial” cash on hand and is debt-free, and is restructuring with a goal of reducing expenses by 50% in order to run a “very efficient, customer-oriented organization.”
BlackBerry also informs readers that it has completely revamped its device portfolio with this year’s launch of BlackBerry 10 (sales of which have been significantly less than expected).
The ad explicitly targets the business community that first vaulted BlackBerry to success, with messages such as: “If what you care about most is getting things done – taking care of your business – we have the best range of devices for you. And we continue to offer the best mobile typing experience – no ifs, ands or buts about it.”
It also touts the company’s security, enterprise mobility management and mobile social network.
While BlackBerry acknowledges that is now just one of many players in the category it invented, it also attempts to position its product as appealing to users seeking an alternative to consumer favourites such as the iPhone.
“Yes, there is a lot of competition out there and we know that BlackBerry is not for everyone. That’s OK,” the ad reads. “You have always known that BlackBerry is different, that BlackBerry can set you apart.”
The copy also nods to the company’s heritage, when it was a critical business tool so beloved by users it was known as the “CrackBerry.”
“Countless world-changing decisions have been finalized, deals closed and critical communications made via BlackBerry. And for many of you that created a bond, a connection that goes back more than a decade.”