The BlackBerry phone is, according to research, the coolest mobile phone brand in SA. If the recent 5FM ‘Broadcast My Life’ campaign, masterminded by maverick radio specialist Mark Gillman is anything to go by, it’s easy to see why. We chatted to Craige Fleischer, Regional Director for Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry® solution to find out how they did it…
The Big Idea
"Our objectives were to promote sales of BlackBerry smartphones within the youth market and to showcase their capabilities, especially BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), which allows users to easily share updates, images, information and opinions with friends and family in real-time.
We wanted to go about this in a way that had never been done before, so we teamed up with Mark Gillman who is a programming genius and ‘Broadcast My Life’ was born. The concept is a simple one: listeners who had BlackBerry smartphones could generate audio and visual content that would be played on air. It was an instant hit and we are extremely happy about how the campaign was received by the youth.”
With a variety of DJs who form part of the 5FM family to choose from, the marketing team felt it fittingly appropriate to go with the duo, Grant and Anele, as the ‘faces’ (or voices) behind the campaign. Both are young and hip, and have their own techno segment called (Tech)5, which brings with it a relevant audience, 16 to 24 year olds. 5FM is all about personality-driven radio, which means that the station is able to match content to shows. This allows for relevant engagement with the correct 5FM audience segment.
On a practical level, ‘Broadcast My Life’ encouraged listeners who own a BlackBerry to use their devices to share anything from the most mundane to the most exciting life situations and then send these stories to Grant and Anele via BBM. The best ones were then played during Grant and Anele’s show between 12:00 and 15:00 daily.
“This has given us insight into their lives, what they are thinking about, doing and what they like. While radio was originally a one-way medium, with ‘we talk, you listen’ being the delivery style, over the last few years, this has begun to change. It is becoming a two-way medium where listeners interact and control – to a certain extent – the content they want to listen to. Radio has always been the persona medium where you could write / phone in, but with its adoption of new technology, this is an even more intimate and immediate relationship”, he says.
Key take-outs for BlackBerry
“BlackBerry loves to do things that have never been done before. We like to be seen as innovative, creative and forward-thinking. So many ad campaigns and competitions are simply repeats of the same old things, just brought to you by a different sponsor. This concept was unique and was also perfectly suited to BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), our own instant messaging platform that allows pictures, text, voice notes and videos to be shared between BlackBerry users in real-time and at no additional cost.
The youth of today love to create content – they want a bit of themselves to be shared with the world. With ‘Broadcast My Life’, we invested in creating a property we could own and which would be something different, something people would get involved in and something that people would talk about.
The youth especially love BBM, which enables them to share text and voice messages, pictures and video clips. BBM experienced a 500% increase in usage in 2010 and has over 45million users worldwide.
The Results speak for themselves…
We’ve had massive penetration into the youth market and there are various factors that account for this. We extended our BlackBerry smartphone range to include the approachable and affordable BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone.
We made our BlackBerry data solution available on the prepaid model, and focussed our marketing activities through various channels that target the youth – with simple creative that showcased the BlackBerry brand as a desirable and cool brand;
It is because of all this that we were so blown away by our achievements at this year’s Sunday Times Generation Next 2011 Brand Survey Awards – walking away with 4 coveted awards, including ‘Overall Coolest Brand’! We also won awards for ‘Coolest Cellphone’; ‘Coolest Hi-Tech Gadget’; and ‘Best Application’ for BBM.
It was at these awards – voted for by the youth – that BlackBerry also clinched the overall number one popularity spot. Research among 18-22 year olds placed it well ahead of the next tech brand. The low cost of its internet access service is a plus, as is the BBM platform which is popular among youngsters because they can customise their user names using symbols and can add expressive emoticons to their messages.
In SA, the BlackBerry is the top-selling smartphone brand and a runaway success with youngsters because of its cheap messaging and internet access. BlackBerry devices accounted for 70% of network operator Vodacom’s smartphone sales in the June quarter.
Research conducted at the end of last year by Worldwide Worx shows BlackBerry had 4% market penetration locally. When respondents were asked what cellphone they’d buy next, 24% said it would be a BlackBerry.