Alicia Keys and Blackberry’s Failed Odessey

I love Alicia. She is one of the most talented singer songwriters around and when she wants to belt something out vocally, there are few who can match her range and ferocity. She’s just plain awesome!

But when did she become a tech company “creative director”?. What was the thinking? To put a new spin on a sponsorship? She is a genius singer and songwriter….that’s not enough?

It’s really important for Artists, their management, and brands to think carefully about the way they position artists in branded deals. This was a relationship set up for failure and it needn’t have been so.

Who was the moron at Blackberry who thought that Alicia, uber talent that she is, was going to sell one Blackberry anything? I mean the consumer platform was in a tailspin anyways; with infinite creative possibilities to stop the brand bleed, this was the BIG IDEA?…..

Of course the big loser is not Alicia. I’ll wager not one of her fans gives a hoot for this failure and will never think twice about it. But for Blackberry, it was yet another example of second rate thinking on behalf of management (now fired) that continued to accelerate the downfall of a once great brand.

It was not the creative even as much asĀ it was Blackberry’s mobile product line that has fallen behind the curve of Apple and Android that has resulted in Blackberry becoming a marginalized consumer brand.

Artists can and do make big positive impacts on brands in advertising and sales promotions; but its tough and very tricky to get right. These relationships need very careful strategic thought.

As a Brand, think hard and long before making big announcements full of bravado and shill only to retreat like Kodak did with Gaga and now Blackberry is doing with Alica.

What do you think?