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article imageOp-Ed: Blackberry 10 promo is lousy, official site is worse

By Paul Wallis     Jan 30, 2013 in Technology
Sydney - Blackberry is doing some good things with Blackberry 10, but the promo video on YouTube has raised howls from users. A slideshow or Apple’s “this is what it does” format would work a lot better. Other promos are just plain grim.
The new Blackberry has a work space, gesture operations, company apps and more. It’s definitely not some cobbled-together bit of “we must get a new model out” crap. Blackberry has been getting market punishment recently, and Blackberry 10 is supposed to be the antidote.
That’s not obvious on YouTube. It looks like a late at night in the office video, and however good this gadget may be, you’re not going to find out from this thing. Users have been screeching. It's not often you see YouTube users complaining about production values, but in this case they've gone all Film Institute, and with good reason.
The official promo video isn’t much better. It’s obviously for people on the go- somewhere else. It’s a video about a basic smartphone, not about Blackberry 10 as a unique selling point. The voiceover also refers to “Blackberry Z10”, and doesn’t use the American “zee”, but the English “zed” with an American accent. (Admittedly, I followed the Australian link... No, the German video is also in English, and it’s “zed”, while the text language for the links is in German, including “Das video sehen”.)
A bit of research dug up the following:
The official page. Click on your country to follow links around all over the place. Sure it produces a lot of hits. It’s also a lot of time for anyone trying to buy the product, but what do they know?
Reviews from multiple people with the same problem on What, is it contagious? Click links to find out about the subject of the review? Read X number of reviews? You’re kidding.
(Google is notorious for this- Get on a page and “read more” then go to another page and “read more”. Is there any possibility of content managers even theoretically acknowledging that users may have lives to live?)
CNN, at least, got down to basics-
Yes, Blackberry needs to come back into the loop, yes, it has new features like the Blackberry Hub, a useful all-notifications in one place function, and yes, it looks very nice and it is practical.
Hm. Let us not go nuts with excitement? This thing needs a slideshow, a reassuring voiceover, some nice music and copy which can be theoretically considered useful. Blackberries are supposed to be good platforms. Their promos need to be good, too. As promos go, Blackberry has replaced content with volume of coverage.
That’s not going to sell Blackberries to people.
As CNN points out-
BlackBerry has managed to secure an impressive number of big-name apps out the gate. Skype, Kindle, WhatsApp, SAP and "Angry Birds" have committed to developing for BlackBerry 10, which means they're on the way soon, if not in the online store yet. Popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn already have BlackBerry 10 apps. But there are still many missing pieces, such as apps for Instagram, Hulu and Google products.
BlackBerry is clearly aware of the importance of robust app offerings. But app developers might still need to be convinced that the new platform will catch on and not be a waste of their time.
Anyone now thinking- “Special apps for Blackberries? Why?” has got the message. Apple and Google took the easy option for them, but not for others- Their own platform apps. That’s just not a realistic option for Blackberry. These are hard cash products, they’re selling points for the new Blackberry and they need to be doable, not just talk-about-able.
In short, and it’s taken nearly 600 words just to describe enough to get here-
Get these things right, Blackberry! For God’s sake! Almost any copywriter could have turned this new product into an Academy Award nominee!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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