‘It can’t do this, this or this’ – BlackBerry airs Z10 Super Bowl ad

blackberry airs z10 super bowl ad superbowl

For a moment I was thinking, wow, this new BlackBerry Z10 handset really is something out of the ordinary, it can make flames leap from my body, it can turn my feet into elephant-sized plodders, it can teleport me in a puff of colorful smoke, it can even turn a truck that’s about to mow me down into a million rubber ducks. None of this was mentioned at the launch event last week, only something about Hub and Peek.

But then came the ad’s tagline to bring me crashing back to Earth, banishing any momentary thoughts of dumping my current handset: “In 30 seconds, it’s quicker to show you what it can’t do.”

Well, we knew we wouldn’t be getting a besuited Thorsten Heins sitting at a desk rushing through the spec list of the Z10, one of two new handsets the company needs to succeed if it’s to have any hope of returning to its glory days as a leading player in the smartphone market. Instead, the Canadian company went down the what-on-Earth’s-going-on? route, hoping to dazzle the audience with some wacky visuals and get people talking about the Z10. But what did you make of it? Did it feel like the right way to introduce a new product to millions with just 30 seconds to play with? 

BlackBerry’s chief marketing officer, Frank Boulben, told Cnet the mobile firm wanted to do something that “breaks the conventions of the category – if you do a traditional commercial at the Super Bowl, it will fall flat.”

He added that the slot was “a big wake-up call saying BlackBerry is back.”

The trouble is, in the US, BlackBerry won’t really be back until around the middle of March, when the long-awaited Z10 handset is finally expected to hit stores. Any buzz the Super Bowl ad creates will have long gone by then. Then again, we can expect to see a bunch more ads running between now and next month, hopefully telling us a little more about what the Z10 can do.

If you haven’t had a chance to see BlackBerry’s Super Bowl ad yet, check it out below and let us know – hit or miss?


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