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.