Blackberry Loves U2. And on the face of it, it’s easy to see why. In a world where the young and hip all have iPhones, the Blackberry seems to be the preserve of slightly stuffy middle-aged men whose best days are firmly behind them.
So what better way to revitalise their brand than entering into a partnership with musical giants Bono, The Edge and The Other One(s)? Well, any way you care to mention really.
Blackberry’s latest celebrity endorsment is designed to help their brand become known for the qualities they assume U2 have – sustained cross-generational appeal and an all-important social conscience. The problem is that nobody outside of Q Magazine or Blackberry’s marketing department thinks that U2 actually have these qualities.
What Blackberry have done in trying to escape their behind-the-times and self-important image is re-enforce it. When you’re trying to pretend you’re not an irrelevant egotist, don’t go to Bono.
Cross-generational Appeal or Behind-The-Times?
One of the main issues with the Blackberry brand is that it seems inextricably linked to businessmen of a certain age, as opposed to the iPhone’s fashionable contemporary image. Linking your product to a popular band should be a good plan – but a band comprised entirely of middle-aged men?
This is compounded by the fact that Blackberry has stagnated whilst Apple have stormed into the smartphone market with an innovative must-have product. Again, a gaggle of balding 50 year olds who haven’t had a decent album since the 90’s isn’t your best choice.
Social Conscience or Self Importance?
If your clients are regular recyclers, having them mentally put you in the box marked “Thatcherite Yuppies” won’t shift any units. Turning to U2 looks like a great idea on the face of it. They’re all for saving the world, right on, no mistake! Or, at least, they say they are.
The problem is that they aren’t. Bono lives in tax exile, and pays to fly hats across the globe first class. If you’re telling your clients that “they need to look after Mother Earth, yeah?” the last thing that you need is to be spotted flying headgear across the Atlantic. Hypocrisy won’t sell your products.
So What Have We Learned?
Well. As the misadventures of the RED charity will tell you, Bono and business go together like blind children and heavy traffic. If you want to be seen as interesting and relevant, go out and create interesting and relevant things. Don’t just stick a U2-shaped sticking plaster over your faults.
Do you have a Blackberry? A U2 Album? Middle aged spread? Let us know what you think of this celebrity endorsement own goal in the comments section.