Thursday, August 7, 2008

Channel Surfing: and BlackBerry

This segment features specialty marketing that may go beyond the usual limits of this blog.

Black Eyed Peas sensation has just released the video for his third single off his most recent album. The song is called "One More Chance", and there's something very special about the visual creation that some are calling a music videomercial.

Click here to watch

While sings at the bus stop, he does so in the company of an exceptionally obvious BlackBerry poster. Then he uses his logistic-and-perception-bending powers to grab the phone out of it's two dimensional frame and flip it around in the palm of his hand like he's cooler than a jeweler -- a fairly obvious product placement ploy that's giving this Jamaican American a bad reputation. Bloggers and news sites alike are claiming that is selling out by plastering the cell phone brand across his music video. People are turned off by the blatant corporate presence blaring in their faces when they least expect it... but is the BlackBerry cameo really that terrible?

First, you have to look at the video as a whole. It's a music video before a commercial; not the other way around. There is an enjoyable mini storyline... one that I find more interesting than a good chunk of current music videos' plots. Also, after a few listens the song has actually grown on me.

Next, the connections between and the presented brand should be analyzed.'s politically charged website has attracted a lot of attention for its pro-bama 'Yes We Can' and 'We Are The Ones' videos. BlackBerry developer Research in Motion just recently announced their partnership with dipdive, allowing the site's social networking and music content to be available on BlackBerry devices. The decision was established in hopes of making BlackBerry more of a consumer platform, much like the iPhone. must have been thrilled about the deal -- now his fans can access dipdive at any time or place.

So, it's kind of like put one of his friends in the video. His buddy just happens to be a sleek wireless handheld device. It would be a different story if an artist endorsed a product in their video just for the paycheck, but in this case there is a personal connection between the two.

I love it when innovation strikes like this. Advertising in the modern age has become a difficult task, and it takes new and unique ideas in order to breakthrough and be noticed. I think the reason why is causing so much trouble is because he's the first to advertise in this way within a music video. I'm greeting the ad with respect and admiration rather than with distaste and contempt. Give it a chance.