BlackBerry goes all out with ‘takeover marketing’ on Android and iOS

BlackBerry goes all out with ‘takeover marketing’ on Android and iOS

BlackBerry launched its Z10 devices in the US at the end of last week and it has gone into overdrive in terms of marketing the new smartphone, which is a complete touch-screen model.

The model was launched in the UK in February and has been very well received by the businesses that have adopted it, with increased security, browsing and greater multitasking all cited as positive features.

In the US however, BlackBerry has been losing ground to Android-powered devices and Apple's range of iPhones in recent years, as it prepared for the launch of its new operating system BB10 and the range of new devices, which both took longer than expected to reach the market.

With the amount of ground it needs to make up in mind, the Canadian company, which recently rebranded to BlackBerry from Research In Motion, has embarked on what it describes as "real-time marketing".

According to chief marketing officer Frank Boulben, who spoke to Forbes magazine, a number of TV com
mercials will hit screens in the US in the coming weeks, but as well as this traditional marketing method, the firm is also trying something a little different to achieve what Mr Boulben recently told Forbes was "the greatest comeback in tech history".

BlackBerry is rumoured to have pumped tens of millions of dollars into the advertising campaign for the Z10 in the US, which is built around the "takeover" of iPhones and smartphones running Android.

The takeover was piloted in the UK first and will hit the US soon on computers and non-BlackBerry devices when they visit certain websites, with the New York Times the most prominent.

Mr Boulben told the news provider that the campaign is a "world first" and noted that the takeovers fill browsers with adverts that resemble the Hub feature of BB10, which enables users to organise their content, a helpful feature for those that use the Canadian firm's smartphones for business purposes.

US professionals that venture onto the New York Times website will see the takeover pull content from various verticals on the site, its Facebook and Twitter feeds, to indicate how the smartphones can boost multitasking.

Android and iPhone users will experience BB10 showing off its time shift capabilities on its photo application, which allows users to scroll through several options for each face in a picture.

The push behind the new Z10 comes as figures revealed that 85 per cent of people in the US use iPhones or Android devices, and that BlackBerry's market share has decreased to 5.9 per cent, but Mr Boulben is confident that the company will become more competitive.

"The device is productivity oriented, but at the same time it’s a cool one because of some edgy features like Time Shift," he said.

Another area that BlackBerry is pushing on the new device is the speed of typing the new smartphones, which again it is showcasing through some marketing material that is due to launch in the coming weeks.

The brand will encourage professionals using smartphones to scan a QR code that leads to a typing game that pits them against the Z10 in a typing challenge. BlackBerry has worked hard to improve the quality and speed of typing on the new touch-screen device and it hopes that this will show when it launches the marketing material.