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Dude, Where Are My BlackBerry PlayBook Ads? Speculate!

BlackBerry PlayBook Preorder

I am really starting to get a bit worried here. The BlackBerry PlayBook launches in seven days on April 19th and I have yet to see a single BlackBerry PlayBook ad. This has me wondering what RIM’s playbook is for the PlayBook launch. I have spoken to a few friends about it and I have to say it is very odd that RIM has been so hush about what is truly a HUGE announcement for them. Bishop5 pointed out in the comments that we should put up a post asking all of you to speculate on what reason RIM could have for such a quiet build up to the BlackBerry PlayBook launch. Don’t they want potential customers to know when it launches or even what a BlackBerry PlayBook is?

Here are some of my ideas sorted in no particular order:

  • RIM plans on soft launching the BlackBerry PlayBook and starting the ad blitz on launch day (doesn’t make much sense)
  • RIM has a ton of companies lined up to buy millions of PlayBooks at launch to beat analyst expectations
  • There will be a shortage of BlackBerry PlayBooks at launch and RIM wants them in the hands of the BlackBerry faithful
  • The media campaign for the PlayBook started back in October and was really drawn out and RIM does not want to draw out the ad campaign
  • RIM cannot make up its mind on if the PlayBook is meant for the enterprise or consumers
  • RIM is crazy…

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

51 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Seriously Ronen!

    Good thoughts there Ronen…

    •RIM plans on soft launching the BlackBerry PlayBook and starting the ad blitz on launch day (doesn’t make much sense): agreed, makes no sense.
    •RIM has a ton of companies lined up to buy millions of PlayBooks at launch to beat analyst expectations:This could very well be true, but, in the end, I don’t think you sell LESS with MORE advertising.
    •There will be a shortage of BlackBerry PlayBooks at launch and RIM wants them in the hands of the BlackBerry faithful: This seems like a possible explanation. Although, you could spin “out of stock” as the demand was so high!
    •The media campaign for the PlayBook started back in October and was really drawn out and RIM does not want to draw out the ad campaign: I think only geeks/nerds and friends of geeks nerds (because we can’t shut up about it coming) know about the playbook. The mass marketting is to get the people that aren’t aware of it.
    •RIM cannot make up its mind on if the PlayBook is meant for the enterprise or consumers: Just advertise for both!
    •RIM is crazy….: god I hope not…..

    I am really at a loss here why there are no ads. Given the constant ad campaign for the phones, it shocks me. This is the make or break launch

  2. They’re counting on BerryReview to get the word out! Nothing like free advertisement

  3. Ive been concerned about this myself. I have a feeling that they are short on supply and looking to sell to the faithful first. I’m hoping they have tons of corporate customers and will exceed analyst expectations. That would stir up some good press.

  4. This is gonna sound weird, but I’m putting off my Playbook purchase until the device is actually solid. Going into the launch, there are still too many uncertainties or “coming but not at launch” features. So, I’m going to hang back until Rim gets it together. While I REALLY want a Playbook because afterall, I am a big Blackberry fangirl, but I just can’t spend $500 on a tablet built on promises of what it can do later and unfortunately, all that it can do later is what I was banking on it doing now.

    • Nothing wrong with this, although the Playbook is supposed to be highly “updatable,” so I think those that purchase early are not really losing out.

      You may avoid a little frustration, but you also have to delay getting all of the good stuff too.

      The main thing is the units that are purchased early are unlikely to be inferior to those that are bought later, on any given date in the future.

      • hardware is hardware.

        • Yep. It is. I guess I’m really disappointed and expected a finished and polished tablet at launch. Everything has been so touch and go since day one.

          • i hear ya and we are not finding out that it’s pretty unfinished.

            In an odd way after the initial frustration of the mixed reviews, I’m really glad they are out there. I will approach the product the right way, knowing it isn’t finished, but i still think it’s going to be useful and a lot of fun!

            You still holding off?

      • What good stuff. The PlayBook doesn’t offer built in productivity apps, and you need to use a Blackberry phone for cellular data. This is a joke. Are they really trying to compete or burry themselves a little deeper? My prediction: PlayBook has mediocre at best sales and five years from now Blackberry phones are all but wiped from the mainstream scene, having been delegated to corporate use.

        • Wrong. You don’t need to use a BlackBerry for cellular connectivity.

          • So if you go and buy one today you can connect to a cellular data network directly from the device? I thought this was coming in a future 4G upgrade? My mistake. What carriers are allowing connections today? If I buy one right now I can connect to one of the major carriers immediately, that is what you’re saying?

          • So if you go and buy one today you can connect to a cellular data network directly from the device? I thought this was coming in a future 4G upgrade? My mistake. What carriers are allowing connections today? If I buy one right now I can connect to one of the major carriers immediately, that is what you’re saying?

        • Ha ha you sound pretty scared of the playbook :)

    • What is it that you need at launch that it won’t have?

      • No built in mail app, no calendar app, no contacts application. No apps to download. No Android support yet. What does it have that you need? A web browser. That’s it. In a marketplace with competing devices offering so much RIM is destined for failure.

  5. I’m mostly with you Ronen but my panic date will be April 14th. I thought that was the “launch date.”

    You know not making a huge deal might not be all bad. If RIM tries to match the marketing blitz of Apple and somehow fails to get the message out, the will get the label HUGE FAILURE. If on the other hand they say we go light on marketing because we are targeting businesses they avoid that label somewhat.

    It will just be disappointing to all of us BB faithful who want everyone to know about this product.

    It is very hard to read, but I keep coming back to the fact that I don’t think Best Buy would agree to stock this product if they had no faith that RIM would launch a campaign to sell it. It take up floor space and employee time to sell this stuff.

    There could be something to the fact that they don’t have enough product yet. I think WalMart would have been happy to sell it as they are in Canada, but WalMart USA probably said we want at minimum a couple of hundred thousand units and it could be that RIM couldn’t supply them and the other outlets as well.

    • April 17th and no ads. I guess they aren’t going to do much, but at least now we know why. It’s unfinished. I think they need to be very careful about how they market this.

      For us BB faithful, we are going to love it. We don’t care about tons of apps and are mainly getting it for the fetures it already has browser, bridge, music, and e-reader, and most important PORTABILITY.

      But for the average Joe the iPad probably suits them better for now. Might be good to come out slow, don’t over promise.

  6. they just know that the product is so superior that they dont want to emasculate ipad?

  7. Ads? We don’t need no stinking ads.

  8. I like your thinking c0rinne

  9. Maybe, this goes back to what Mike Lazaridis said about letting the product speak fir itself. Perhaps, their waiting for people to actually try it out, so they can see it is clearly superior to the competetion and then feature them in upcoming commercials – a taste test if you will.

  10. You missed one other option (maybe more). What about a massive (ballistic) ad campaign launch, day of or day before. Not just ads in newspapers and on TV/radio. How about social networks, BlackBerry’s (they know your PIN if you opted in), and other formats. The stores have been advertising it (demos and countdown boards) so people are aware of something coming. Just something different than the standard “hype and wait” (like some others do).

  11. what a shame that we still not have an official video or commercial from RIM of the playbook.
    tic toc… 7 days

  12. I’ve often wondered about Apple having huge ads for the iPad close to launch day when they will sell out day one with or without the ads. As they always have enough Apple fans to garanteeing a sell out and average consumers will have to wait a while before stores have enough stock to handle regular orders.

    Perhaps RIM is expecting a certain number of people to buy on the first day to launch ads later.

    Also I have heard from quite a few people of RIM giving private demos of the PlayBook to various corporations. So perhaps that is where their focus is with a soft launch in the consumer market until RIM has more stock.

    Also another theory is perhaps they are waiting until the 4G versions are available to launch an ad campaign together with a telecom companies.

  13. RIM has to get the consumer base in the know. At this point they should have something showing to at least get the product images and features out there. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Tab commercials where they began airing 2 weeks after Christmas, when they should’ve been a month before.

  14. I just received the IPad2 64gb w/ wifi + 3G. It was a gift or else I wouldn’t have it. The more Days that go by w/o any ads, makes me wonder if I have the right tablet. I am faithful to BB but are they faith to me? We hype the Playbook to all who we know, but will it deliver? IT BETTER!!! 7 years of BB devices, I don’t want to let that go, but we have to consider whether they have us in mind as we have them.

  15. RIM is crazy…

  16. Out of curiosity how many of you marketing execs for multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations? :)

  17. I don;t think we saw Torch ads until after the Torch was out.

    I too have been looking for ads but this is probably pretty normal practice in marketing if you think about it. It might be a bad thing to hype a product that is not available. For the average consumer it might be the case that they go to Best Buy wanting the Playbook (which isn’t out) and the Best Buy guy says, no we don’t have it, but we have the iPad2, let me show you…. and RIM just lost a sale.

    Even if you blast APRIL 19th some consumers just won’t get it.

    • Yeah, I had that experience going to Radioshack. I was asking if they received PlayBook yet. The person at the register said he knew nothing about the PlayBook.

      He then proceeded to try to sell me on the Samsung Tablet, saying how this tablet is the only one with flash. I then corrected him by stating that its the only one until the PlayBook comes out and unlike the Samsung, it isn’t just a giant version of their smart phone – it has its own OS.

    • You do have a very good point. Many consumers are swayed by salespersons selling them something they don’t want or need, or selling them the wrong item. Okay, kiddo2050, I’ll admit that your argument is sound. I’ll wait for the 19th then for the ad blitz.

  18. RIM!!!!!!!

  19. here’s my speculation:

    media ads will hit on launch day.

    but what is even more powerful is the point of sale display and the strong training of retail employees with a sales insentive direct from rim to sales people that will demonstrate to consumers how and why the playbook is a better choice.
    from there word of mouth etc from actual users will drive more people in to reatail centres to get one.

    also, all business user are consumers but not all consumers are business users. once the general consumers start seeing business users using the product in the field this will also support demand.

    its not all doom and gloom. my spidey senses say this will be a very successful product for rim. i believe this is the tpye of product where more than one may be in use in the home.

  20. i preordered from future shop on Sunday, i got to use the playbook hands on, i was sold. There was a RIM representative there to answer questions, but I knew i was going to get one before that all the specs and info is on the website.

  21. Well, someone suggested that April 14th was launch day. I don’t know about that, but if it is, that would be Thursday. If I don’t see TV ads, newspaper ads & billboard ads showing the wonderful PlayBook, then I’d think that RIM only managed a small number of devices and can’t really afford to advertise something they can’t sell. After all, Apple bought out all the world’s supply of available LCD displays for the next 6 months.

  22. Well they did say there where going to take a hit in earnings b/c of marking costs, development costs and lower end phones.

    So I’m guessing few day before playbook launch the adds should start.

  23. We can speculate all we want (and that’s okay). But I think that RIM is big enough and professional enough to have a plan in place. Whether it works or not, we can discuss that after next week. I personally can’t wait to get my hands on a PlayBook and start using it!

  24. I wouldn’t be surprised if RIM was planning the bulk of their advertising for the launch of the 4G model.

    • You might be right especially if the 4G model will have native email (I don’ think that is a big deal but many people do) then it’ll be the complete product.

      I still suspect strongly that we’ll see ads on the 19th. It just may be too risky to hype it before hand not only because of what I said above but also because then the media will look for the thousands of people to be lined up at Best Buy to purchase it on the 19th and I don’t think that’s going to happen.
      The media would blame the product instead of realizing the Apple has cornered the market on wacko consumers that line up for a product for which there is no shortage. In fact it seems that it might be more likely that there will be a shortage of playbooks, I’m glad I pre-ordered mine.

      • Apple knows full well how many iPads they ship to each of their stores on release, and that thousands of their loyal customers line up outside with no hope of be able to purchase a unit. And yet Apple lets them stand there, all the time knowing how many they’ll be able to serve at most. To me, this is the utmost disrespect a company can display to it’s customers – the preference for demand optics, at the expense of their customers time & effort (and yes, why these idiots line up is beyond me too!)

        • Agree, but the dummies that line up are all in on it in a way. if you are number 800 in line you know you are not getting one (at that store anyway) and you are still loving it because you are contributing to the hype over the product, and those people get value from the hype.

          The truth is only a small minority of people are crazy enough to do this but it makes good press.

        • You guys are seriously blaming companies for releasing such good products that customers line up to get them? RIM would love more than this, don’t kid yourselves. It is obviously not a few wacko customers as Apple has about 90% of the tablet market and counting.

    • I take it back. 5 days and counting. :)

  25. RIMM is in a position where it has set up 20,000 retail outets for the Playbook.
    Production is expected to be about 2.5 to 3.5 million units.
    Based on possible corporate sales in the 10’s of thousands of units to satrt, even if each retail location only sold 10 each to start that would be 200, 000+.units…which would be everything available, right now…awesome product should be able to carry the day when shown head to head with all competition.

  26. David Pogue of the NYTimes writes:
    “The PlayBook, then, is convenient, fast and coherently designed. But in its current half-baked form, it seems almost silly to try to assess it, let alone buy it.

    Remember, the primary competition is an iPad — the same price, but much thinner, much bigger screen and a library of 300,000 apps. In that light, does it make sense to buy a fledgling tablet with no built-in e-mail or calendar, no cellular connection, no videochat, Skype, no Notes app, no GPS app, no videochat, no Pandora radio and no Angry Birds?

    You should also know that even now, only days before the PlayBook goes on sale April 19, the software is buggy and still undergoing feverish daily revision. And the all-important BlackBerry Bridge feature is still in beta testing. It’s missing important features, like the ability to view e-mail file attachments or click a link in an e-mail.

    If all of this gets fixed, the apps arrive, and the PlayBook can survive this year’s onslaught of rival tablets, then it may one day wind up in the pantheon of greats. For now, there are too many features that live only in R.I.M.’s playbook — and not enough in its PlayBook.”

    RIP RIM. ahhahahah!

    • He had a prereview unit. But anyway why are you so scared of the playbook?

      I have one now I love it, why should that hurt you?

      Do you secretly love flash or something?

  27. That was a week ago. How pre was it? There is no built in cellular and almost zero apps available. Why would you choose the Plybook over the other tablets out there? I really want to know what appeals to the PlayBook early adopter.

    • I have the Ipad2 and I’m still very intrigued with the Playbook. I think people are treating RIM as if they are the only ones who have released product with the need of upgrades. I can easily see the Playbook being a big competitor in the tablet world once these updates start rolling in.

      These negative reviews have opened RIMS eyes to how they too are vunerable (like anyone else) to criticism. You can bet they are in the LAB 24hrs a day, making sure they shut these people up and give there faithful followers a reason to brag.

    • Wel Chris, I don’t really think you want to know, but since I’m so happy today I’ll play along.

      Yes, there are few apps available, there were almost none when the iPad came out so I’m not worried about that. One advantage of having fewer apps is you ten to get less garbage. Less good stuff too but less garbage it cuts both ways.

      Why did I choose it? That’s easy 100% the size. I looked at the iPad and it’s just too damn big to carry around. You say it’s thinner, it’s still heavier than the Playbook. I already have a note book, so if I’m even going to consider a tablet it better be noticeably different from that. And I have a Sony vaio Z which is very light already so getting an iPad makes no sense over the Sony.

      To really understand don’t think of the Playbook as an iPad competitor. Think of it like this. I have something I can do the following with, read pdfs, read and edit MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint (preloaded), surf the whole web, and do my email on AND fits in my pocket.

      Yes Apps will be good too, but when you are really thinking of dumping your notebook an iPad doesn’t cut it because you still end up having to carry it around in a bag.

      For me it’s that simple.

      There is also the Samsung galaxy tab but it has very little power or potential compared to the Playbook. Apple doesn’t/won’t make the tablet size I want so I can’t buy it from Apple. Not that I would but that’s another story.

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