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    Blackberry Z10 Super Bowl Ad Draws Mixed Reactions | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

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    Blackberry Z10 Super Bowl Ad Draws Mixed Reactions
    By Adario Strange February 4, 2013 09:52am EST Comments
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    During this Sunday's Super Bowl, the biggest television advertising event of the year, the world finally got a look at the first ad from resurgent mobile phone company BlackBerry - and reaction appears to be mixed.
    Rather than run down a laundry list of product features, the 30-second ad opted instead for muted humor by telling the audience what the new BlackBerry Z10 smartphone "can't" do.
    Opening with a man walking down the street with his BlackBerry handset, the ad shows the BlackBerry Z10 user bursting into flame, walking around on elephant feet, and disappearing into a puff of rainbow smoke. Toward the end of the commercial, the man uses the handset to turn an oncoming, out-of-control truck in a harmless pile of rubber ducks.
    "For the big game, rather than run an ad that is expected for the tech category – one that showcases the features of the product – we decided to have fun and challenge the status quo," BlackBerry's Don Halliwell wrote on the company's website. "We knew that for this event, it was important to spark a conversation about BlackBerry 10 and to make people curious enough to find out more."
    Unboxing the BlackBerry Z10
    Another version of the commercial appears on YouTube, with BlackBerry's chief marketing officer, Frank Boulben, explaining the lighthearted nature of the commercial spot.
    While the special effects-generated magic tricks are charming, missing from the commercial is any mention of what the BlackBerry Z10 "can" do, a point that has been become a somewhat heated topic of conversation on the Internet by BlackBerry fans and skeptics alike. On YouTube, in the comments associated with the video, a BlackBerry fan by name of "gothika" wrote, "Frank, you guys have been showing the world what you can't do for four years. It's time to show them what you can do." Yet another fan, Shannon Ricketts, wrote, "I still think [BlackBerry] could have done something more victorious and confident."
    Still others feel the commercial had the desired effect. One YouTube commenter by the name of Kayvon wrote, "For those that don't understand the ad: BlackBerry is showing all the things the Z10 cannot do because the things it CAN do take longer than 30 seconds to explain. Very creative and fitting for the Super Bowl. Well done!"
    But the controversy over the ad doesn't stop there. On the forums of Crackberry.com, a site devoted to BlackBerry users, some fans of the company are upset over what appears to be discrepancy regarding the commercial's popularity ranking on the official NFL website. On a special section of its site, the NFL allows fans to vote for their favorite Super Bowl commercials. Several fans have produced screenshots of the Blackberry ad being ranked as number one, but as of this writing, the BlackBerry ad doesn't appear anywhere on the most popular advertisements page (although, it can be found here).
    Oddly, the highest ranked commercial shown, as of this writing, is beer company Budweiser, which is ranked at number two. Currently, there appears to be no number one-ranked commercial on the site. Stranger still, Samsung, the world's leading smartphone brand next to Apple, which aired a Super Bowl commercial featuring two major Hollywood stars (Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd), is only ranked at number 33.
    Whether the apparent omission of the BlackBerry commercial from the popularity rankings is due to some glitch, or the result of some behind-the-scenes issue remains unclear. What is clear is that, despite the lack of feature demonstration for the Z10, BlackBerry has managed to stir conversation with its relaunch commercial, which, at the end of the day, is the point of spending the estimated $4 million to run a 30-second Super Bowl ad. You can check out the commercial for yourself in the video below.
    For more, see PCMag's first look at the BlackBerry Z10, as well as our spec showdowns pitting the Z10 against the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S III, and the Nokia Lumia 920.
    02-04-13 06:02 PM

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