BlackBerry teams with New York Times to market new DealBook

By Tom Kulaga

Faced with the most critical product and marketing juncture in its history, Research in Motion (RIM) sought a primary media collaborator on which it could rely to successfully introduce to the marketplace its new smartphone operating system and related hardware, BlackBerry 10.

It found that collaborator in The New York Times.

The Times inked an exclusive, multi-million-dollar, six-month deal with RIM with two goals in mind:

  1. To create a multi-platform marketing programme designed to reposition BlackBerry as an innovative leader in the mobile sector.

  2. To generate buzz about the new BlackBerry 10 platform among an audience of C-suite and technology business decision-makers.

Teams from several departments at The New York Times — advertising, mobile products, business development, and sales — collaborated on this cross-platform, integrated programme via a series of meetings with RIM and its creative agency, BBDO, in the NYTimes Idea Lab.

It is here that Times’ salespeople, sales development staff, and creative technologists work to develop the next generation of entertaining, engaging digital advertising.

A cornerstone of the strategy was RIM’s founding sponsorship of The New York Times’ first-ever DealBook conference, “Opportunities for Tomorrow,” which took place at The TimesCenter events space in December 2012.

The first major conference of the post-U.S. election transition period, it addressed the opportunities and challenges for the nexus of Wall Street, Washington, D.C., and the corporate world.

As the founding sponsor of the “DealBook: Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference,” BlackBerry enjoyed a unique opportunity to be at the center of this critical dialogue, which featured an extraordinary assemblage of onstage participants, and to zero in on the conference’s financial elite C-level audience of business influentials.

Immediately prior to this high-profile event, The Times sent an e-mail blast notifying conference attendees about the exclusive BlackBerry 10 sneak peek lunch presentation, during which BlackBerry unveiled the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

During the conference, The Times hosted a VIP dinner on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, featuring a pre-dinner conversation with financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin and Larry Ingrassia, assistant managing editor for new initiatives.

Also bolstering the initiative was an extensive series of never-been-done print, digital and co-branded, customised advertising executions that coincided with the conference and echoed the innovative BlackBerry 10 platform, further building awareness.

Online, a custom homepage takeover by RIM on featured NYTimes content in an emulated BlackBerry 10 environment. A customised BlackBerry big ad and leaderboard roadblock (multiple placements on the same Web page) on the DealBook section front, as well as a link to BlackBerry’s Web site on the Opportunities for Tomorrow Conference Web site, further amplified the conversation.

In print, BlackBerry 10 was next featured in The Times’ first-ever spadea wrap of the DealBook special news section. Additionally, the BlackBerry logo was included in promotional ads in The New York Times.

These combined advertising, marketing, and promotion initiatives afforded RIM the perfect platform for launching BlackBerry 10, providing access to an ideal audience of the most influential figures from Wall Street and Silicon Valley — in person, in print, and online.

About Tom Kulaga

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