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RIM creates 4 cartoon characters to spread the “Be Bold” message


You’ve got to hand it to RIM. The company has been through the wringer over the past year. Some loyal users have departed to other manufacturers, their stock price has fallen (currently at $17.02/share), and recently their co-CEOs stepped down. With all this said, RIM has no debt and plenty of cash in the bank, over 75 million subscribers and a new CEO who hopefully has a solid plan. It’s known that the company wants to attract a new consumer-focused audience. Thorsten Heins, RIM’s new CEO, plans to hire a new CMO and it seems like the new marketing efforts have already started. The “Be Bold” initiative kicked off on New Years, but the cartoon characters are new. There are four of them:

GoGo Girl, The Achiever: “Saving the day with a brilliant strategy”
Justin Steele, The Advocate: “Always ready to stick up for his friends”
Trudy Foreal, The Authentic: “Not afraid to call it as she sees it”.
Max Stone, The Adventurer: “Able to jump out of a plane…” (would have been good for those two drunk RIM employees)

RIM put together an infograph to display these new characters… they bring some new personality to their brand, but what is really needed are fresh products. Bring on the new PlayBook OS and the new BlackBerry 10 devices.

Update – RIM just posted this update on their blog regarding the infographic:
“UPDATE: We’ve noticed The BeBold Team has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, and wanted to clarify – this infographic is just intended to be a bit of fun. On New Year’s Eve, we asked BlackBerry Twitter followers and their friends to submit their resolutions on how they plan to Be Bold in 2012. More than 35,000 resolutions streamed across Twitter®, Facebook®, and giant billboards in Times Square. As we looked at the resolutions and the data, majority patterns and categories emerged. We decided to organize the data and share it in a fun way, and the result is the infographic. This is not a new ad campaign.”


Source: RIM

  • MikeW

    So Blackberries aren’t geared for business anymore?

    • chall2k5

      RIM has been marketing the social capabilities of BBM since 2007, and did have decent inroads on youth, offering cheap social plans and unlimited BBM between devices

      and yes, there still is 2 separate marketing campaigns going on with RIM, one for consumer, one for business

    • alltheyneednow

      Gretat, they made a decision, with this youth “image” they are officially ditching the corporate image and they are targeting themselves towards a younger demographic.
      All they need now is a playbook with native email and phones that people want to buy and they will be ready to go!

    • alltheyneednow

      Where are:
      Mike Lazaridis: The “I run a business as a machine” guy; his motto: “I’m an engineer”

      JimBalls Sillie: The guy of the future: coming this summer..coming in Sept..coming in Feb2012..Rumoured to come on Feb 17now! “No stone left unturned in the latter part of the year” His motto: “I can leapfrog you!”

    • rimmrumor

      RIM is only upgrading to a more eficient distribution channel:
      Every box of Captain “Crunch-CrunchBerries” will have a BB Curve.
      Raisin Bran “uplifting Feeling” will have a BOLD 9900″ and “Lucky Charms” will include a Playbook; you will need luck and a box of “Captain Crunch” if you want to send an email from the Palybook though!

      Finally: if you get a “Lucky Charm-4 leaf edition” (Good luck with that ha!) you will get a BB10 inside the box!

  • Rich

    For some reason, I’ve never been concerned about RIM going under until I saw this.

    • Manbo

      Well I for one am extremely upset that they have alienated the “Fair” demographic. Dark haired people are represented quite well, but where are the blondes and gingers? This is highly disrespectful as they are saying we don’t exist in their world! One day we will rise up! Mark my word RIM, your downfall will be by the hands of those with locks as golden as the mornign sun and hair as red as the fire of vengeance! You will rue the day! RUE I SAY!

  • PaulY

    Same here Rich, same here.

  • Colin

    And what demographic are these douchenozzles suppose to attract to the Blackberry brand? Heres an idea, ditch crappy cartoon characters and make phones and software people are really passionate about.

  • mlindgren

    They really have no clue.

  • motomaster

    I love my 9900 for work!

  • Petephone

    May as well have the Southpark characters as spokesmen!

  • Dr Cell

    And I though they couldn’t go lower than this

  • Andrew

    I feel sort of sad to be Canadian when i see this but i still love my blackberry. This type of advertisement is gear towards 9 year olds … RIM needs a good house cleaning starting with their new CEO and the marketing department

    • Dava

      If I get a blackberry would it be out of date after a while? I mean the RIM mrkaet is going down but I just love the sleek design of the BB and the keyboard is AMAZING! The iphone is amazing at everything else the only thing that is holding me is the touch keyboard and the same old design! Which would be better an ipod 4g with a bb 9900 or iphone 4s alone? plz feel free to give ur opinion, will help me alot! Note: this phone is going to last with me for at least 2 yrs.

  • Dichlong

    What the heck is this “super reader?”
    Why don’t they make a rich contents phone like the iPhone plus the keyboard, email, bbm ? So I don’t have to carry two phones with me all the time? Now I am scare about Rim future . speechless

  • A. Carmine

    Wow…. this is what happens when you have no Chief Marketing Officer?

  • Steelepunk

    lol RIP RIM.

  • rei

    The ad copy really should say “stepping out of *2007″ which is where RIM seems to be mired in.

  • Pete

    This is the worst campaign i’ve seen.

    1) the comic characters childish,
    2) the text is heavy and dense (really in a 140 character world you’re gonna hit me with walls of text?)
    3) the graphics explaining what each of the four are hurt my brain with meaningsless colour.

    Be Bold? more like “Be Incoherant” or “Be Confusing”

  • Trotsky

    That’s either a really simple minded campaign, or one that tries to be ironic but fails at it.

  • Daniel

    as an artist those character feel so blank too, at least if you want to do something with cartoons put some thought into it!

  • Alex Perrier

    Reminds me of Frank and Gordon, plus Otis and Alexis.

    Do any of these superheroes have the ability to:
    * host a BBM video chat, at least PlayBook-to-PlayBook?
    * call BBM users (even just voice calls) at no extra charge? [1]
    * include BBM Music in some BIS plans, such as “BlackBerry Social” or “BlackBerry Email”?
    * give away a few months of BIS for free, as a “thank you” gift for choosing BlackBerry?

    WIND has $5/month social networking. It would be nice to see other carriers offer it, too.

    Superheroes. Good if they’re gonna save RIM. But remember these song lyrics: “they say that a hero can save us. I’ m not gonna stand here and wait.”

  • Mattprime86

    This is the dumbest fu€k!Ng thing…

  • kman

    I think I speak for almost everyone when I respond to this campaign with a tortured W T F is that?!?!?

    Oh rim how can you torture us loyal users so??? Must you also give fuel to our friends who mock our old tech specs , our lag, our low rez screens, and our utter lack of quality apps!?!?

    What’s next for us? Co-marketing with hello kitty?

    Sigh…. : (

  • Mark

    Phew! I was worried about RIM for a minute there, but this fixes everything!

  • Reggie Noble

    ***January 25th 2011. RIM’s boardroom meeting***

    Thorsten Heins: Okay guys we’re in a whole world of s**t right now. We NEED something to gain subscribers back, gain trust from our investors and once again become industry leaders. Any ideas?

    Employee#1: How about launching those BBX phones we promised the consumers 2 years ago?

    Thorsten Heins: NO!!! They’re not ready for that yet. A dual-core processor in a phone is still new technology. Consumers aren’t ready for these specs in 2012…

    Employee #2: How about finally updating the playbook?

    Thorsten Heins: NO!!! It’s still not ready. Plus, people don’t need a native email client or bbm on a tablet. That’s unheard of! Come on people! WE need to be creative!

    Employee#3: I have an idea!

    Thorsten Heins: What is it?

    Employee#3: Well… Remember when we were kids, back in elementary school, we had those “don’t do drugs” school assembly’s? Remember when these nerdy 20-something year old losers that tried to act and dress cool would preach to us about how drugs are bad and we shouldn’t do drugs?

    Thorsten Heins: Yes.

    Emplayee#3: Well, how about we do something like this for our new blackberry ad campaign. We’ll dress them up in tight super hero costumes circa 1985 and show the world that we’re hip! We’ll be the Bee’s Knee’s! I call it the “Be Bold” campaign!

    Thorsten Heins: That. Is. The. Most. Stupidly…………… AWESOME idea that I ever heard. That will should that stupid green robot and stupid piece of fruit whose boss.
    Guys, Looks like we have a winner!

    Thorsten Heins: I have a feeling that 2012 is RIM’s year!!!

    • B. Carmine

      Can’t even lie, I laughed.

    • rimmrumor

      The meeting ends when employee #4 says:
      “Do we tell the world that we have no idea what or when will BB10 be ready?”
      Heins:”No more rumours and tell the Truth?.. they can’t handle the truth… they can’t handle the Truth!

      Employee #5: “That’s right sir, there is nothing wrong with RIM, let’s keep on going tha way we are; after all we have 75mill customers, we are Profitable, even if its only 265 mill and Tim Hortons make more $ delling donuts, AND we are debt free; people love us just the way we are sir!

      Heins:That’s right; its not us’, its them! the customers don’t know what THEY want, lets make the product first add a BB-logo and Super-heroes and they will buy it! After all its a BLACKBERRY right? it has worked for 6yrs so “if its not broken, don’t upgrade it” lets leapfrog the competition with OS7.1 in 2012(the .1 is because we are still number 1) and push BB10 for 2013; after all who needs a change from 7 to 10 it will kill our cutomers!! To celebrate freedom of expresion let’s have a Freedom-Break with Freedom Fries; I brought the kethup!”…

  • koko

    If only the tits were a tad bit bigger :)

  • Phil

    It actually makes me really sad that in RIM’s greatest time for a new direction and innovation, that they have resorted to this half-assed attempt at a marketing campaign!?!? I think the marketing team over at RIM are hoping that 10 year-old kids might save their company and drive up sales. RIM lately has just thrown stuff into the market with out making sure that it is something genuine and marketable. I really want to see Rim bounce back one day, but if this is the best they can do then their failure will be coming soon enough.

  • Dandroid

    I’m a complete supporter of RIM, but this is just a very very bad idea. What the hell are they thinking. If you’re going to introduce something like this, at least make it good! RIM marketing FAIL

  • Superfly

    What a rip off of “The Incredibles” only they are the “Not Credibles” LMFAO

    • rimmrumor

      Actually they are called:
      “The Stone Turners” and they send emails from a Playbook to save the world from injustice, an evil Green Robot, and the Hipnotizing purple Dinosaur!

      Number One: holds the Playbook,
      Number Two: types the message,
      Number Three: holds the BB that you need to send the email
      Number Four: holds paper Calendar,Rolodex and pen, to keep everything in synch.

      “Stoooooone Tuuuuuuurners!!”

  • last ditch effort

    Rumor has it RIM was originally going to go with two characters one was going to be a tug boat and the other was going to be a large cruise ship with a hole in the side. It was going to a saturday morning cartoon about this tugboat that saved a large cruise ship from drowning.

  • whocares

    LOOOOOL!!!

  • Big 3

    Powerpuff Blackberries!

  • shoo

    I actually cringed when I saw the character with the pink lipstick… oh rim.

  • Dillion

    …. seriously?

  • ruddias

    Guess which CEO invested in a GoAnimate account…

  • GENERAL WONG

    They say they target business… and yet they seem to target kids now.

  • Miguel A

    lmao i can’t stop laughing at this. RIM needs to get their stuff together

  • rick

    Cartoons???? I almost feel ashamed that RIM is based in Canada…

  • Adam

    They made it clear they are mostly focusing on marketing for the upcoming months. I’m sure they’re just throwing things out there to see some reactions. Hopefully they see these reactions and don’t continue with this to make it a marketing campaign though..

  • Rich

    i would have pegged them to have B.Roke, the guy who knows how to mishandle his financials and Dee Rayled, the sassy girl whose opinion always ruins everything imaginable for everyone, both on day 1 of this ‘brilliant’ campaign.

  • Craig Pakkala

    You have to be kidding me. They deserve to fail…..

  • Andy A

    *facepalm*

  • Peacenik

    You gotto be kidding me!

  • HO

    …not to be a douche but this was expected, I mean just look at middle schools and high schools, elementary and some post sec, that’s their main market, and here we have the “black girl”, the “bully”, the “gang member” and the “white bimbo”…great market!!!!

    nothing new on the new market campaign…oh well, public sms….I mean twitter!!!

  • Lawlerballer

    Ha ha, April Fools!

    …Wait, it’s not April?

    Oh R.I.M(P). …

    • Chatman

      I download and isnatll BB Desktop manager version 6.. then i plug my BB Curve 3g.. upgrade my os to os6 and it says.. i must have data plan etc..unplug my device and guess what!! i cant view my friends text messages. oh my.. how far will it goes

  • Theblob

    I’m sure Apple and Google are laughing their heads off right now.

  • Anthony E.

    check out the p0rn star names. lol

  • WjjjoopsAndSuch

    Radial gradient heads

    :\

  • shaggyskunk

    RESEARCH in MOTION…… Great name, just doesn’t convey WHICH direction that MOTION is in?
    I never had a blackberry, but I wish RIM a successful future!! It would be a great shame to see one of the great Canadian companies fail!!

  • TheBoze

    The end is nigh.

  • Ellie

    Oi! RIM! NO!

  • Benny Blanco

    OMG! I’ve be very positive about RIM’s outlook… but seeing this really makes me wanna ditch all RIM products NOW! I’m embarrassed.

  • Josiah

    “Oh, we were supposed to do market research FIRST? I guess I missed that class.”

  • vn33

    Awwww RIM, has it really come down to this ?? What are you offering next ? Comic books ?

  • DougG

    Looks stupid but in the end it’s really no different from Koodo’s El Tabador, Telus’ commercials with various small animals, or Bell’s former CGI beavers. Mascot marketing might have limited appeal to Mobilesyrup members but it’ll probably click with some people out there.

  • lj

    Homer: Brothers, I’ve learned a wonderful lesson: helping others makes our own lives better and makes us better people. So instead of just shooting pool and drinking beer, let us Stonecutters use what we have to help the less fortunate.

    Moe: He’s gone mad with power like that Albert Schweitzer guy.

  • Aaron

    They should have called The “Super Friends” out of retirement for this campaign. God this is bad…

  • yadeed

    They have a bad Peyote Moment…. Is this the great new vision, the grand master plan from RIM? Hockey players could had been cooler, after all the owner of RIM invested more money and energy buying a hockey team than in R&D but cartoon characters!

  • Will

    Ain’t gonna happen without any Asian characters?
    Where’s the smart little Asian boy?

  • jerry

    This is the kind of culturally sensitive horseshit youd expect from a government psa aimed at high school kids, not from a company with a focus on corporate devices

    Black guy… check!
    Visible minority girl… check!

    Oh boy i totally want to be a rim superhero when i grow up!

  • Turbo E

    Just make a better phone FFS….

  • hallway

    Why, RIM, why?

  • deadonthefloor

    Looks like they took a page from SaskTel.
    http://www.sasktel.com

    • Mujib

      I do not understand why evehytring has to be compared to an iPhone! For someone like me I’ve been with Telus forever, and enjoy having Blackberry PIN messaging, and would like to own a touchscreen phone so the Storm is my solution. Not every touchscreen phone is meant to beat the iPhone.. And everyone doesn’t necessarily want the iPhone, not saying it’s a bad phone I actually like it very much, but getting it would mean having to change companies, plans, etc.

  • Timothy709

    Lame…

  • Christopher Drum

    From a marketing perspective, I get why they did this. Personifying your demographic into relatable people, then keeping those customers in mind when making business decisions, is a fairly normal thing to do. It isn’t typically something a company would want to share with the world, “Look, here’s how our company pigeonholes you and your belief systems!”

  • font9a

    This is called, “Let’s just take the fictitious personas of the customers we desire the most, slap some superhero outfits on them, and call it a brilliant ad campaign!” This is the kind of advertising you get with a two-bit agency of 3rd string players.

  • dsheetz

    oh dear

  • Matt Kim

    /facepalm…… RIM is dead now….

  • Johnson

    This is a joke right?

  • Mike

    Amateur hour is over!

  • Dustin Harper

    While I get that is isn’t a new ad campain, it still brings attention to the brand. Blackberry is all business – that’s it’s demographic. It sucks for everything else. I may have been used to the Android and Windows Phone 7 and going to the Blackberry for work, I can’t stand it. It’s all business. Making it look like a toy is going to throw off the business user that will jump ship to Tonka – I mean Apple iPhone.

  • Jon

    “to hell with everybody else making sound strategic marketing decisions, we are MF RIM, beytaches.” – pure genius if you ask me.

  • Wah Wah Wah

    I cannot believe this… Why IS R.I.M so foolish?!?! Take notes from the community thosae are the people buying your phones. UGHHH!.

  • Norville Barnes

    Wow, they’re really trying to re-enact “The Hudsucker Proxy,” aren’t they?

    “You know, for the kids!”

  • CountChalkula

    This advertisement reminds me of the last few feeble marketing attempts by Commodore to sell Amigas using a cartoon guy. It failed miserably.

    • Vanessa

      So does a msg from a Kik client to a BB user, or a BB msg to a Kik user get dmepud by the RIM server?Mouse + (Mouse Trap concept) = Mousetrap (non patentable)Mouse + (Mouse Trap DEVICE) = Mousetrap (Patentable)All the user see is the Look and Feel and Functionality they could care less about the implementation. Too bad RIM and Kik didn’t sit down and talk. The big thing is that RIM BBM is device specific while Kik is non-specific.

  • Nick

    Something has gone terribly wrong at RIM…

  • foandoc

    RIM is the new Palm.

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