How RIM’s Blackberry Playbook Ad campaign got it all wrong

I was driving up the M5 motorway a couple of day ago to see a partner when I went past a massive Blackberry Playbook billboard at the side of the road. I decided against trying to take a photo, but the essence of the ad is a picture of the Playbook with the phrase: “Yeah. You should have waited”.

I mulled this phrase for a mile or so, and then decided that I just didn’t get the campaign, and for a number of reasons.

1. The message is that you shouldn’t have bought an iPad. But in making the reader work this out they are left with the phrase “iPad” more embedded in their mind than Playbook.

2. “You should have waited.” This infers that I have already got an iPad (which I do). Therefore am I not in the target market. If I don’t have an iPad then the advert is not targeted at me and so doesn’t necessarily drive me forward to a purchase.

3. “You should have waited.” This also infers that the iPad was first and the Playbook somewhat later. The type of people buying tablets are early adopters – gadget lovers who like to have new stuff to show off to their peer group. Had I waited…..I could have got an iPad 2.

4. “Yeah. You should have waited” is telling me, the potential customer, that I have done something wrong. I’m not a marketing expert, but I can’t believe this is the right message to put across.

5. The iPad is at the heart of the advert. Any good salesperson will tell you – focus on what you do well and not on what the competitors do badly. Don’t position yourself by comparing yourself to others. By putting down the competition you just make yourself appear lacking in innovative ideas.

Those were my thoughts as I drove along. Then again, I have just written a blog post about the Playbook – so maybe they’ve out marketed me!

What do you think about the ad? Would it inspire you to buy a Playbook? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Charlie Cowan inspires and enables partners at NewVoiceMedia, a Salesforce Appexchange partner routing inbound calls based on CRM data. Unusually for someone in the IT industry, Charlie holds a degree in Rural Land Management from The Royal Agricultural College. He lives and works in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, with his wife and three children.

  • RIM got it all wrong from the start. Come on, I mean, “PlayBook”. Seriously? Try convincing your boss to roll out devices with that name!

    • That’s a great point Christian!  Hadn’t even thought of that.  And with this week’s news around HP I think the game is over for many of these other providers.  Instead of trying to play catch up they need to come up with something innovative.

  • Gally

    I think you’ve rather missed the point – the “you should have waited” is CLEARLY a response to Apple’s f*** up of an advert for the ipad2 in which they tell us they’re “just getting started”.  It hardly inspires confidence in the product and suggests you should hold ouf for something better.

    Not seen the ad?  Well it wasn’t going to take long for someone to point out the stupid mistake they’d made (you can see it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRwBpjm2kQE) and if they can make a mistake so imbecilic in their advertising, what are they missing in their products???