"Spec" BlackBerry ad shoots Apple through its heart

  • Chicago (IL) - File this one under the "cool" category. A new BlackBerry Storm ad has been making the rounds recently. It literally takes a direct shot at RIM's fierce rival, Apple. While many online outlets incorrectly reported this as an official RIM ad, in reality it's just a so-called "spec" spot used to boost a New York-based creative shop's business. Nevertheless, it single-handedly puts Microsoft's multi-million dollar marketing campaign to a shame. If RIM had the guts to air this, it could take the fight to Apple's turf.

    If you see the new ad by New York City-based creative shop dubbed Guava, you'd be forgiven for thinking the BlackBerry maker suddenly decided to take the battle to Apple's own turf. After all, following more than one and a half years of sales, Apple's iPhone is still a success story and RIM would like to remove it from the market. At one point, during the quarter when iPhone 3G hit the market, unit sales countered those of RIM, a small and symbolic but nevertheless an important victory. Combined sales of RIM devices have picked up in the meantime and are now ahead of the iPhone.

    The ad in question is nothing but a so-called spec spot that is part of the agency's showreel designed to attract new clients. It was obviously convincing enough to fool many online news outlets that reported it as an official RIM ad, but we were able to confirm that it is just a spec ad.

    Designed to show Apple who's boss, the ad cleverly plays on fruit subcontext of both Apple and BlackBerry tradenames. It starts with a nice, juicy red apple rotating slowly on the screen when a gun shot suddenly cracks the silence. With Pink Floyd Echoes playing in the background, a blackberry "bullet" suddenly blasts a hole through apple in glorious super-slow motion fashion. In the end, the blackberry continues on undaunted, not even phased after ripping the apple's innards to shreds. How symbolic.

    You can view YouTube video of the ad above, or check it out in high-quality on Guava's homepage or watch it YouTube website. While it could take ad wars to the next level -- adding a little spice, it is unlikely to happen given RIM's conservative approach toward advertising. Many companies have also found out the hard way that countering Apple's aggressive tongue-in-cheek marketing tactics (one of its strongest weapon against rivals) is often a gargantuan if not impossible, task.

    With that in mind, we give this one two thumbs up as it serves as great example that brave ideas like this, while costing probably peanuts in comparison, will still stick in consumer's minds longer and more effectively than the message of a safe, ambiguous, look-like-everybody else advertisement. Microsoft's multi-million dollar marketing blitz all but confused us with that series of Jerry Seinfeld and I am PC ads, but still also sticks in our minds -- it's just filed under the "Huh?" category.

    What do you think? Would you like to see RIM take a direct jab at Apple with an ad like this airing on national TV as the official BlackBerry Storm ad?  Share your thoughts down in the comments below.