The Super Bowl is, by far, the most anticipated sporting event of the year. Last year, over 111 million viewers tuned in to watch the game, a television viewership record for the third straight year. With this type of massive, worldwide audience, it’s no surprise that some of the world’s largest companies also anticipate this annual event for their new product launches and major announcements.
With a mere 30 seconds of air time costing right around $3.8 million, it is large companies like Lexus, Coca-Cola, Century 21, Frito-Lay and Best Buy that can even afford one of the coveted spots.
This year, a new Super Bowl advertiser will make its debut. BlackBerry, formerly Research in Motion, has chosen Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, February 3, 2013 to promote the launch of its brand new BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
With such an enormous audience and the undivided attention of people all over the world, BlackBerry will be able to send their new message to smartphone users everywhere. While the hardware is definitely impressive, it is the software – the operating system – that is the true innovation. With the inclusion of several great applications to aid corporate IT professionals, BlackBerry is making it obvious that they’re aiming their product at their traditional corporate market.
Of the many new features, the most obvious innovation of the system is the ability for the BlackBerry 10 to completely segregate and isolate business-related applications and data from a user’s personal data. For instance, a user can simultaneously work with business apps while separately using Facebook or sending a personal email – both “sides” working seamlessly, but completely isolated from each other, on the same phone without logging into a different account.
Known as BlackBerry Balance, this technology will give IT professionals the ability to manage the phones of their employees without interfering with the personal data or software that is stored on the device. This means having the ability to update software and other data on the phone without affecting the user’s personal “side” of Balance.
The system also has the ability to block users from doing certain tasks on the work side of the phone, such as forwarding or copying specific information. This would prevent a user from accidentally or deliberately sending sensitive business information to the wrong people. From an information assurance standpoint, this is ideal in today’s competitive and wireless business arena. From a cyber security standpoint, the BlackBerry platform alone can serve as an initial barrier to cyber criminals trying to compromise company data, all the while leaving the personal side of Balance untouched.
The timing of the product release couldn’t be better. BlackBerry is experiencing a huge strategic marketing advantage by releasing BlackBerry 10 in a gap of new competitor releases. On top of that, they have the biggest stage in the world to deliver news of their new product to the masses – even if it does come at an extravagant cost.
There is a lot of work ahead for BlackBerry. Don’t think for one moment that the competition is going to stand by and wait to see what happens. Charles Golvin, an analyst with Forrester Research wrote, “They’ll need to prove themselves in the face of a simultaneous onslaught of marketing from Microsoft, not to mention the continued push from Apple plus Google and its Android partners. This is a gargantuan challenge for a company of RIM’s size.”
As toe hits leather on Super Sunday, millions of people all over the world will be tuned in to enjoy dozens of entertaining TV commercials and a mercilessly competitive football game. Will BlackBerry’s commercial be a good investment? Only time will tell, but it will also be entertaining to see how BlackBerry’s competition reacts to this new product launch and how BlackBerry handles their re-emergence into this mercilessly competitive industry.