January 30, 2013

Remember BlackBerry? Your high-powered business aunt had one, as did your high school principal. But as the smart phone rose to global dominance, the ubiquity of the BlackBerry tailed off as consumers realized they could purchase sleeker, more versatile phones with which to navigate their daily lives.

Still, the brand has one last gasp of life, announcing today that they’ve signed Alicia Keys—Alicia Keys!—to be their global creative director, or whatever that means, in anticipation of their imminently-arriving new product, the BlackBerry 10. (It looks like a smart phone, but a few years late. Great job!) She will do… something. Really, I don’t know. Now, we can all sit around and muse on what it means for Keys to be “the global creative director” of a tech company, given that she’s mostly known for singing and not product development. But it’s sort of a perfect summation of where the tech industry lays today, and its desperation to attract a cool new market by appealing so baldly to whoever they imagine makes their main lifestyle choices solely because of what a celebrity says; I mean, Keys could teach me about love, but not necessarily about the best apps. Take it from the press release:

“Alicia Keys has come to BlackBerry because she believes in the product and technology, and subscribes to our overriding philosophy to ‘Keep Moving’: to empower people through mobile computing and communications,” said BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins. “We are excited she will be bringing to us her enormous capabilities, as well as a vast network of relationships in the entertainment, social media and business communities, to help shape our brand and grow our business.”

So, yeah. No idea. But hey, there are worse ways to get paid than by dipping into that tech money. The most damning factoid: She was still using her iPhone as recently as three days ago.

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