BlackBerry releases single frame of TV spot to drum up buzz

by David Friend

TORONTO – After a week of massive hype for its new smartphones, BlackBerry has decided to remain secretive about its Super Bowl commercial in an effort to squeeze every bit of juice out of the pricey advertising campaign.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company, formerly known as Research In Motion (TSX:RIM), released a single frame of the 30-second TV spot on Friday, without any explanation of what it was, or what it meant.

The move goes against the trend of unleashing Super Bowl ads on the Internet ahead of the big game in an effort to generate extra hype.

This year, smartphone competitor Samsung chose to release its commercial starring comedians Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd on Thursday. Other major companies like Mercedes and Coke have also put their ads online.

Recent statistics have shown that advertisers gain more traction from their Super Bowl TV spots if they’re released online before the event, which takes place on Sunday.

Last year, the Super Bowl ads uploaded to YouTube before the game were viewed 600 per cent more times, an average of 9.1 million views, compared to the ones that were put online after the game, according to the streaming video service owned by Google.

Going against the trend, the BlackBerry maker will keep smartphone users guessing about what their advertisement is about and who it might feature. Certainly the company’s publicity team carefully chose which frame to release as its sneak preview.

The frame shows an early 1980s Honda Accord is parked alongside a meter. Behind it, there’s a colourful explosion of powder in front of stairs leading up to apartment No. 437.

The clues would suggest harkening back to the birth of the IBM personal computer, introduced to the market in 1981 using the coding 437 as its original character set, or more simply, the appearance of its font on screen.

It may be a clue because BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins has touted the launch of the new smartphones this week as a new era in mobile computing because the devices have nearly the same amount of processing power as a personal computer.

All of that won’t be proven true or false until the game on Sunday evening where the BlackBerry ad will air sometime after the third quarter, the company said.

The Super Bowl is the most-watched television event of the year, drawing 111.3 million U.S. viewers in 2012.

In Canada, last year’s broadcast drew a record 8.1 million viewers.

The event is also the most expensive event for advertisers, costing an average of $3.4 million for a 30-second spot on NBC last year, according to ratings firm Nielsen.

This year, estimates for how much CBS is charging for a 30-second spot vary wildly from between $3.6 million to $4 million. CTV declined to say how much it charges for Canadian airtime.

Also slated in the Super Bowl commercial lineup are advertisements from the Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO), with different versions airing on both sides of the border.

In the U.S., the company has purchased airtime in the midwest where its banks have a strong presence under the BMO Harris Bank brand. In the commercial, dubbed “Dream Home,” a young couple ponders the possibilities of buying a home, before they’re surprised when a real estate agent throws up a “For Sale” sign right in front of them.

BMO has also bought airtime in Canada, though it will be showing a commercial that has already aired during prime time.

Last year, a Harris-Decima Canadian Press poll found that more Canadians planned to watch the Super Bowl ads than the football game itself.

 

 




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BlackBerry releases single frame of TV spot to drum up buzz

  1. To all those who think Blackberry is dead or doesn’t have a chance.

    Blackberry is based of off QNX which Blackberry acquired in 2011. QNX is so powerful that it is currently used in all of these embedded systems:

    cars, trains, industrial robots, heart monitors, guitar pedals and the camera on NASA’s ISS as well as nuclear power plant controls

    QNX has excellent security. And that is the reason why it is used in so many different ype of industries and has so many uses. Your blackberry will sooner than later connect to every part of your daily life and control things easily and smoothly and most importantly securely.

    Yes you may be able to do some things through iphone with some basic apps which can control lighting etc….but they don’t work well and it isn’t secure. People can hack into your phone or ipad and take control….no thanks! Matter of fact everything on the iphone is not secure which is why sooner than later they will hit a road block and will have to start with a new platform which will take valuable time and allow Blackberry to gain more ground. Blackberry took a lot of time to come out with a new phone but it is because they had to plan far into the future. This phone has years to mature with new innovative solutions …QNX is powerful and this is why Blackberry will eventually be the choice smartphone to have. Possibly Blackberry will license the technology out to Samsung and iPhone etc and Blackberry will make a killing. this is when their stock will have the capability of reaching the hundreds…and possibly close to a thousand. Thorsten Heins may not give that speech like Steve Jobs….but he sure has a great vision and can see far into the future.

    • This is the best troll attempt I’ve seen in months, congratulations :-D

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