T Minus 13 Days to BlackBerry PlayBook Launch and STILL no Ad Campaign

BlackBerry PlayBook Preorder

At the end of last month we asked the question “Where is the BlackBerry PlayBook Advertisement Blitz?” I was genuinely wondering when RIM was going to start advertising their ground breaking BlackBerry PlayBook. Now we are sitting with 13 days until the BlackBerry PlayBook launches in the US and Canada and we have yet to see a SINGLE commercial or advertisement beyond their website. I am truly hoping that RIM is not taking a “if we build it they will come” approach to launching the BlackBerry PlayBook. This launch needs to be huge and “in your face” to make sure potential customers know what a BlackBerry PlayBook is let alone what makes it better. Better yet it should be convincing them to line up around the block to buy or preorder one!

With 13 days left to the BlackBerry PlayBook I am really starting to get a bit worried here. I realize RIM is still developing the OS down to the launch date but seriously why not advertise it? Do they have some mind blowing surprise in store? Are they just being shy? Is this some sort of advertising strategy to not let the world know about their secret launch? With all the announcements RIM has made recently they should have no trouble coming up with advertising copy. So what gives RIM? Feel free to speculate in the comments!

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  1. There is launch party coming on Apr 11 in Los Angeles. So something to expect after that.

    • God I hope there is something in it.

      I put up the following in response to the android post below:

      Android support all well and good, but will RIM please start advertising the Playbook!!!!!!

      Just this morning I had a friend who is a long time BB user tell me he wants to get an iPad because someone with one brought it to work and showed him that he could read Adobe files on it.

      I was explaining to him to wait that the Playbook is great and he looked at me like I was a fool because to him the Playbook is a blackberry and he sees it as the same OS as his Phone!!

      Please RIM Please begin to correct this mis-perception which almost every blackberry owner who is not up on technology must also believe.

      It’s only 13 days but I’m beginning to think they are just going to silently release this product. What a disaster that will be, maybe that is why the head of marketing resigned.

      I feel bad because here I am trying to support RIM and they are doing nothing to back my support up.

      • It could be that RIM already has enough orders for the initial launch window mostly going directly to the enterprise customers and from what I know most of the retail outlets are not going to get more than 25 units during the initial launch.

    • Hmm…do you know what it takes to get in? I live in LA.

  2. Honestly they should have had some sort of advertising by now. And I know that they are pushing new builds out internally to testers every 12 hours. I know that is shocking!

    But they need to do something to compete with the likes of apple and samsung.

    • So I guess this means when we open it we’ll have to download a new OS immediately? Not that surprising I guess but how will that happen since it doesn’t need to connect to iTunes (equivalent).

      • It just updates over the internet. No need to plug it into anything…

        • Not sure how that will work when officially launched. But my contact told me that it took him quite a while to get the thing updated. But he also works for RIM so who knows what he has to go through to update the thing. For the consumer market it will probably be very easy to update.

        • YA, hope it loads in the background and then pops up and says new updates ready, type in password and then done. That would be cool!

  3. They may be doing a soft launch. Launching the device, feeling out the crowd, and perfecting the PlayBook. Then once they are confident, they may begin advertising. Stores and restaurants do this all the time. They will open, and a month later have their “grand opening.”

    On the other hand, I don’t think RIM has ever been very good at mass marketing. A good example of this is when they had a big ad blitz for the launch of the Storm. Mediocre commercials and a product that consumers ended up having so many problems with that it got a bad reputation. And while their latest ad campaign for BBM has been noticeable, what has it actually accomplished?

    While I want the PlayBook to be successfull, I’m still very highly skeptical of RIM delivering a device that consumers will revel.

    • Pretty much guaranteed that consumers won’t “demand” it.

      It doesn’t even have to be perfect, but no advertising is a deathblow and it’s already too late right now.

      • I’m kind of with you, but I think RIM must have decided they don’t want to go with the hype model.

        Maybe it is a wise decision not to take apple on face to face, but I’ve got to think that without some consumer buzz they are going to run into the same problem they have with their phones. Employees want iPhones and will pay to be able to use them for work. This hurts RIM.

        Of course the main difference is that the phones while good at messaging (which is why we love them) don’t really match Apple. This is not true for playbook which is I think a vastly superior product except for apps.

  4. I believe there biggest thing will be when they port BIS NOC over, by then they will have the Native SDK out, and they will start big on Advertising.

  5. I don’t think they’re willing to advertise yet because there are still some things missing from the playbook like native email.

    Blackberry bridge will be nice to try, and could make sense if I don’t have to worry about marking an email read in 2 places, but….there’s always a but.

  6. Not surprising. I bet April 19th will pass without a whimper from RIM. They’re still learning how to do marketing. Do they even have a marketing department?

    Apparently, there have been some ads in the WSJ. Hippee! People can’t get excited about something they don’t know about or can’t see.

    We know RIM is hard at work in perfecting the PlayBook, but I’m sure the marketing folks aren’t coding or testing.

    • Ads in the WSJ are for a very targeted crowd that is actually very likely to buy a PlayBook.

      As for most advertising I don’t think there is too much point of doing it too early. Without the product actually being on shelves I wouldn’t bother to begin advertising until the 20th.

  7. Oh God I hope they are not stupid enough to do a soft launch. Do they realize how much the blogger community hates them? Any whiff of this not selling well will be front page news on every blog and in every business paper.

    Most consumers will then say: Not selling well? Must be crap… and the Playbook is dead. Developers won’t develop for it. Every iPad owner will say “no app for that!!” And all we will get on TV is “do this and that with your iPad app.” (Implicity: You bought a playbook? What a fool!)

    It’s just like I’m watching Californication and at the end it says follow the show on your iPhone or Android Phone with the Californication app. Of course I’d nver download such an app but implicitly it says “Blackberry owners your phone sucks”

    Hey RIM it’s called Network Effects: the more people that buy your product the more valuable it is. For these products it pays to advertise the hell out of them at launch to get market share.

  8. Guys….all in dew time. We know about since thanksgiving or before that yet don’t forget that people respond quickly to ads. If you tell me something is coming in a week, is totally different than if it’s coming in a month. I believe iPad had a one week of ads and 2 weeks since announcement.
    Anyways, it will come and go as soon as they announce the rumors of the next gen PlayBook.

  9. If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t even pay attention to ads.

    If I want to find out about something new, I go to a blog like BerryReview.

    I don’t even have cable.

  10. I’m not worried about the lack of advertising from RIM. The product is not available for purchase so why spend all this money so soon. You can’t purchase anything until its available. I am a BlackBerry fan and the long wait is driving me crazy. Nothing is worse than a company promoting a product and you want to get it but wait…..its not available. I know we all want to see RIM blow this out of the park but I think they are doing the right thing here. Do advertising before launch towards the inside tech geeks like us and we will slowly spread the word. Once the product is actually available than let the masses know. Its not like they haven’t been advertising the product, they just haven’t done nation wide product launch because its not available for purchase.

  11. Yes with so close to launch they are not advertising this bad but with delaying the release and postponing they have already increased the expectations and propaganda.
    So i think they are not advertising

  12. I really do not understand the advertising road they are taking

  13. With iPad 2 just launched it any advertising would have been lost in the noise anyway. Best for them to have the product nearly available and then start advertising.

    I need to find a contact at RIM soon to have them come out and demo it.

  14. They need to do something big. There are a lot of people that still don’t even know RIM has a tablet.

  15. Need to go out with a bigger bang. This won’t do.

  16. Bring it on RIM! Seriously, tho, I am surprized too that theyve not done something other than their website. Of course with sites like BR hyping it up they do get some ‘free’ advertising.

  17. I’m with most comments in that RIM should set the record straight about their tablet. Too many bbm addicts I know still haven’t heard of the Playbook and many more write it off as just another Blackberry.

    Personally, I don’t think opening sales numbers matter to me. I just want people to stop being so ignorant.

  18. RIM is smart.
    See how we expect this new gadget because they hold the information to us?

    I almost buy Dell Streak because of it’s super capability yet mobility, but I postponed it until today because I can’t get away from the BB contact.
    Will be perfect if RIM produce 5″ Playbook, or 4″ slide qwerty keyboard smart phone!

  19. The specifications and hardware speak for themselves. RIM realizes the need to focus on their core customers. (Enterprise). I am sure there is serious internal promotion happening behind the scenes.

    On launch day, you’ll see tons of business that already have the Playbook.

    The excitement will also grow as developers from Android begin to diversify their streams and develop native Blackberry OS applications.

    If you had your company bashed many many times and you believed you were worth a lot more than what the market believed you were worth its easier to just remain below the radar. Having low market expectations creates opportunities that serious competitors can overlook.

  20. i think the thing that many on this site are missing is the fact that most people on here are dedicated blackberry fans and have spent time pouring over the playbook features. while it may be superior to iPad no one outside of the dedicated bb community knows that. many bb users don’t even know that. there isn’t even info about the launch date on the bb website. everyone knows iPad whether an apple fan/user or not. no promotion = no interest = no sales & bad press

  21. I believe your partially correct bizilla, its pretty clear that the real buyers of the product, the strong followers and enterprise customers are already sold on the product.

    I admit that this segment is only a small portion of the prospected market, but having a soft launch with relative success is many times better than a huge campaign associated with relative failure.

    As the early adopters begin to showcase the Playbook through its increased portability, on-the- fencers will likely begin to take notice.

    A 10 inch pad is simply a display pad, where as the 7-inch Playbook is a mobile computer.

    • Hi Jinzo, thanks for your note.
      I would tend to disagree with the soft launch being a good strategy. Without anticipation the whole thing is a non-event. People won’t circle back and ‘discover’ the alternative when there is a very well marketed product that has a very dedicated following. The iPad is a sexy product and I haven’t met anyone that has one and doesn’t like it. The Motorolo xoom is apparently a great product and some have said it’s better than the iPad but i had no idea it was even on the market until a friend of mine asked if I knew anything about it. When you look at the xoom vs. iPad, there is a constant stream of people wanting to buy the iPad well after the initial launch where as the demand for the xoom is minimal if at all. With blackberry’s ad campaign around bbm it shows the effort they are making to try and reach the younger, mass market with their product. The ad campaign for the Torch is a much cooler story trying to capture that market which shows that they want to compete in that space which is why the soft launch is the wrong play. I do agree that a flashy launch with a bad product is worse than the soft launch but they shouldn’t launch the playbook until they have a good product that they can stand behind. They are already a year behind the iPad so it isn’t a race to see who can get market share first.

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