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Smartphone maker launches curious cartoon campaign amid plunging sales

Research in Motion, Ltd.'s (TSE:RIM) plunged to a 4.5 percent share in the U.S. market during holiday 2012.  

The company is clinging to profit margins thanks to strong sales in emerging markets like China (who is the new largest smartphone market), markets which gravitate towards budget smartphones with lower end hardware -- RIM's specialty.  But RIM's dominance in these sectors may be short lived as they are increasingly looking to emulate the American market in turning to sleek Android handsets or the iPhone.  

I. RIM Goes Full Hard on Superhero Campaign

But don't worry, investors.  RIM has a plan -- superheroes.  No, really.

RIM has put out a bizarre marketing campaign to boost its sinking market share.  The campaign features childish cartoon caricatures (think 2D versions of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Xbox Live avatars).

RIM Superheroes
[Image Source: RIM]

Meet Gogo Girl (left), who "saves the day with a brilliant strategy",  Justin Steele (bottom left), who's "always ready to stick up for his friends"; Trudy Foreal (middle), who "isn't afraid to call it as she sees it"; and Max Stone who is "able to jump out of a plane."

The full campaign aired in a RIM blog.

The characters were part of a fancy infographic:

RIM infographic
[Image Source: RIM]
 
RIM writes:

[F]our bold characters emerged from your #BeBold resolutions, and it’s clear to us that all are bravely stepping out of 2011 and into a 2012 filled with unlimited possibilities. Which are you? Tell @BlackBerry on Twitter!

II. RIM: The Trouble Child of the Smartphone Market

But this is hardly the first sign that the company's grasp of reality may be slipping.  After being outsold nearly 10-to-1 on the U.S. market by Android, new CEO Thorsten Heins claimed that Android phones were unappealing and that all of them were the same.  

While Heins was clearly getting at software differentiation, the majority of consumers don't seem to be finding BlackBerry's fee-laden messaging and email services all that appealing.  While their strong encryption may be a selling point to privacy fanatics, politicians, CEOs, or other high profile officials that handle sensitive transactions on a regular basis, to the average Joe or Jane they're a lot of buck for not much bang, compared to free offerings from rivals.

Mr. Heins was bumped up from the chief operating officer spot, which he came to in 2007 after years at Germany's Siemens AG (ETR:SIE).  Many -- including a vocal investor contingent -- felt the ouster of long time co-CEOs (and company co-founders) Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis was much overdue.

Mr. Heins, for his part, vows to "stay the course", saying that making smartphones "isn't baking cookies."

Kanye baking cookies
[Original Image Source: The Onion, modifications -- DailyTech/Jason Mick]

The "Be Bold" campaign was first announced on Jan. 1 and its new cartoonish mascots just hit the web.  RIM hopes to use the characters to lure consumers back to the company.  RIM will launch in H2 2012 the delayed BB 10 OS, which incorporates elements of QNX.  The new OS was delayed due to RIM's difficulties in attaining acceptable LTE performance, according to company officials.  RIM was forced to rename the OS after its executives (reportedly) refused to listen to their legal staff and named it BBX -- a name that was already trademark by a business software company.

While RIM has struggled in the era of modern touchscreen smartphones with outright flops like the Storm and underwhelming performers like the Torch, it does at least have one strong selling point left for the masses -- it has the best physical keyboards (hands down) in the industry.

Sources: RIM [blog], Engadget



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RE: They forgot...
By Pirks on 2/1/2012 2:23:22 AM , Rating: 1
I knew you'd wiggle your way out of this, creative guy eh :))) Okay alright, from now on it's Brandon who trolls RIM, not you. I got it.

In the future I'll just say that you follow popular opinion when you criticize RIM, and you do this because you can't form your own opinion based on a thorough analysis of RIM products because you have no time for that.

And.. in the end, I'll add that popular opinion ALSO made Justin Bieber a superstar.

I'll let retrospooties of the world digest that, hehehe :)
quote:
you were long known on here as the "blind Apple fanboy"
Haha, I always knew that, people are just dumb here most of the time, and because of that they think that the guy who pwns a crazy PC troll like Motoman or cheesy must be Apple troll himself. No way! If you DO NOT OWN any Apple products (this is my case actually) you can still pwn Motoman when he says insane bullshit like "all Apple users belong to the church of Jobs and they buy Apple products only because of the logo and because Jobs peed on them or something"

So when you laugh at such a crazy fanatic as Motoman for example, people think you are an Apple troll, but it's just PC troll being pwned here by a normal guy. I don't own any Apple products and don't intend to. I only LOOK like an Apple troll because I laugh at and ridicule PC trolls. Got it?

I even disagree with Tony Swash quite often, and you got to see how this throws quite a few local idiots off, this is hilarious. OH MY GOSH PIRKS DISAGREES WITH SWASH THE HELL IS FROZEN OVER!!!11!!! LOL I love local idiots. DT is the best forum definitely, I've never seen so many people with mental problems around :)))
quote:
why do you think so many people are going with Apple or Android instead?
Ask yourself: why so few people buy such an excellent phone as WP7, huh? THINK about it Mick, THINK. Didn't you already realize that sales sometimes have nothing common with the quality of the product? Didn't the huge sales of Britney Spears and Justin Bieber albums teach you anything? Do you think because Bieb sells so freakin well he's the best musician in the world? Hell, to me one little note from the music of... I don't know... say, Prem Joshua for example, is worth the whole set of songs Bieb produced and will produce in his future creative life. And so on and so forth, high sales don't mean the product is the best thing ever. Hey just ask Motoman - does he think high iPhone sales mean iPhone is the best thing? He'll tell you EVERYTHING about it, he has a whole freakin' theory about this. His own anti-Apple church, if you will.

So don't slam RIM products because of poor sales. I too thought Playbook was something weird and something I wouldn't like and wouldn't use... until I tried it in store.

I'll send the interesting good news/links about RIM to you when I find them but there's no personal email of yours here, there's just a generic "submit a story" button, who knows where it send the stuff we submit, is it going directly into your inbox?


RE: They forgot...
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/1/2012 8:35:51 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
the guy who pwns a crazy PC troll like Motoman or cheesy must be Apple troll himself
Not sure exactly what you think you "pwn", but in your feeble mind, I guess anything is possible.

quote:
but it's just PC troll being pwned here by a normal guy
There is nothing normal about you. At. All.

quote:
I love local idiots. DT is the best forum definitely, I've never seen so many people with mental problems around :)))
You are number 2 right next to Tony.


RE: They forgot...
By Pirks on 2/1/2012 2:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
Where's your clown bro Sojar? Aren't you two supposed to entertain me together these days? ;) I don't want you dance solo, get Sojar here quick and dance together for me. And don't forget to jump high, I like that part the most :)))


RE: They forgot...
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: They forgot...
By Pirks on 2/1/2012 8:16:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, you are very predictable indeed. Good point!


RE: They forgot...
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/1/2012 8:29:32 PM , Rating: 1
Like I said....


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