Apple vs. Blackberry – The Battle Goes On!

March 21, 2009

I have already discussed the popular “video clip battle” between Apple and Microsoft in one of my previous articles and also the fact that others take advantage of the idea and use it for their own purposes (when two quarrel the third rejoices). Thanks to my brother my attention was drawn to an article in a Swiss newspaper that reports on a new battle, but this time between RIM’s (Research in Motion) Blackberry and the iPhone, a registered trademark of Apple. Currently there is a sequence of three videos circulating.

It starts with a video in which Blackberry attacks and beats the iPhone. At the end of the clip the following slogan appears: “The world’s first touch-screen Blackberry. Nothing can touch it.”

This video has been on YouTube only for three and a half weeks and already has 753,762 views. (Since March 25th the video I was refering to “BlackBerry Bullet Shows Apple Who’s Boss is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Death Songs LLC and hence the views with the new one are different) According to Tagesanzeiger it did not take long before a second video came up. Or was it Apple’s answer? Nevertheless, the following clip appeared two weeks later on YouTube and finishes off with the words: “simple facts”.

There are 155,759 views after 8 days on YouTube. What until now looks like a quarrel between Apple and RIM appears to turn into an advertising campaign for the site PleaseFixTheIPhone a page that collects improvement recommendations and complaints from iphone users and lovers (the best mobile phone on Earth, ever!”) and formulates them into wishes. At the moment this page lists 2,250 wishes including 659,181 votes made by people who agree. Wishes can only be placed by people who have a Facebook account. They claim not to be affiliated with Apple and pronounce: It’s a modern love poem from iPhone fans who just want to improve their iPhone.

Listing 5,220 views on YouTube within 10 days even this one shows rising popularity. With reference to OnlinePC these clips were neither a strategy from Apple nor from RIM, but rather a hidden campaign made by the digital advertising agency Guava. Rumours are circulating that Guava may have created the clips with the objective to promote its own services as a digital marketing agency. If that were true it would be a similar move to the one by Giovanny Gutierrez from Tinsley Advertising, who filmed his girlfriend playing Nintendo Wii’s “Hula Hoop” game, only wearing knickers and a t-shirt. He stated that he didn’t intend any commercial outcome but admitted having personal interest in getting recruited by Nintendo (read more). Tagesanzeiger reports (in German) that there have been no comments from Guava regarding their involvement with these clips yet.

If it were to be the other case and the first video has been developed by RIM, it highlights the importance of monitoring and controlling the World Wide Web consistently. The first video may have caused some serious damage to Apple’s brand reputation, which could have resulted in declining sales. By responding very fast with a similar video message Apple entered the battle, took the initial glory from Blackberry and did not let its “fans” down – in addition, it provided them with material to fight back on their blogs and amongst social networks. Brands which ignore their online reputation amongst social networks, blogs and communities are taking a very large, stupid and unnecessary risk. Not only is the use of the Internet and new media for marketing purposes increasing globally, but also the importance of being interactive online as a brand in order to satisfy rising customer interest and hence demand for online interaction is of an ever increasing significance. Through active online reputation management unfavourable mentions can be minimised by monitoring and influencing conversations in blogs and social networks.

However, all these videos have created buzz in a very short time and thus show high potential for viral campaigns.  They tick all the boxes by creating electronic word-of-mouth, making people discuss the involved brands (brand awareness creation) and reaching large numbers of individuals within very short time. It also shows that there is no need to have a stunning and exceptional new idea for each campaign. Already existing ideas can be creatively turned into diverse stories with different outcomes and intentions.



  1. Very interesting post Joy! I have never seen the third video before; I only knew the other two. Online reputation management is a very essential thing and many companies fear damage of their reputation through the association with wrong sites they wouldn’t want to be identified with.

  2. again a very good post! you’re doing a very good job here!
    i browsed the fixtheiphone site (which is btw a quite funny thing for a none-iphone-user) and i think this actually is a very good idea make a product better and better. this is the future: involved costumers and opened sources!
    it seams as if goliath is learning from a penguin, don’t he?

    related links (example of community marketing with outdoor fans in germany):

    video: http://www.3sat.de/mediathek/mediathek.php?obj=11829&mode=play

  3. Interesting! now i watched these videos and i believe companies are trying to improve their reputation and what a better way to do it by involving customers!

  4. It’s funny how the companies are trying to beat each other with comparative Advertising…
    But I don’t think it will be reflected in the sales. There are lots of other factors, why the one or the other company is successfull.
    It seems to be necessary to act like this, if one player in the market did start..

  5. Great videos. Loved watching them.
    However I dont see the need for Blackberry and Apple to argue. The new Blackberry storm says it has a touch screen but actually hasnt. You still need to press the screen to chose a menu. So frankly said it sux. On the other Handy the iPhone eventhou it brought needed competition into the market is far behind indutry standards in the mobile market. Take the camera, missing copy paste funktions as well as no mms service. That however is coming with software 3.0 We will see….
    Nevertheless comparing the iPhone to other Smartphones is pointless because the iPhone was the one strating the revolution. Its like wearing Che Guevara shirts….

  6. that’s a very good article! Didn’t know anything about this before.
    The fight between those two companies happens within their customers too. A friend of mine bought this Blackberry Storm but had already problems with it when he got it. A system failure was the problem. Couple days after he got a new one and had again a problem with it. When he got the third one he sold it to another friend (it was finally working, more or less) and bought himself an iPhone which worked right away.
    For myself, I don’t have any of those phones but I have a Blackberry Pearl and a MacBook. I had to exchange the Blackberry already one time, almost a year ago, now I have problems again. The MacBook runs and runs, without any problems.
    That’s for me, simple facts.

  7. an interesting discussion. regardless of who is behind this, all the stakeholders involved seem to benefit from thins form of ‘battle advertising’. Each of the involved companies (here apple and blackberry) look equally goo to their customers or should we say supports. Plus whoever is behind this gains reputation as a clever advertising agency. Furthermore, there are positive spin-off effects for like-mind companies (here facebook). And finally people like us like it because it gives us something to talk and argue about…
    Everyone’s happy! Now that’s something new…

  8. Interesting article…and I haven’t seen this story picked up elsewhere. It’s perhaps an indication that the iphone is now a “mature” product, as is pointed out in http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/20/free_iphones/

    Perhaps sites like fixtheiphone don’t have as much effect as a network that is paying the bill…

  9. Well….. I always thought the balckberry was for business where as the iphone was for pleasure. Thanks for posting those videos Joy – I had not seen either of them before. If the comptetition between the tow continues, hopefully it will mean that they lower the prices and I can afford one!!!

  10. Hey thanks to all of you for your comments, I really appreciate your time to share your thoughts with me. And of course, I am also very pleased that I could provide you with some new information and buzz 🙂

    Personally, I get absolutely excited about campampaigns like the one discussed above. Not only that I find it very interesting from a marketing perspective, but also very entertaining!

  11. There’s more info in a Post Magazine article here:


    Apparently, it was neither pro nor con Apple or Blackberry. Just a spec spot.

  12. Interesting views everyone. Its a bit like a soap opera isn’t it? Drama and confrontation is always going to creat buzz.

    @Sam Parish you’re right about the products appealing to different markets, but I think blackberry is trying to branch out into the consumer market with this new model.

    Even Daisy Knibb’s got a blackberry and she’s not a business woman…yet.

  13. interesting post…! makes me wonder what all companies can do to protect their brands and their reputation… way to go…!

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