BlackBerry wants you to advertise on its behalf in exchange for the weekly chance to win… wait for it… BlackBerry-branded gear like a bag, mugs, a hat, and more. Okay, and also a monthly drawing for a BlackBerry smartphone. The program, called BlackBerry Smartphone Fan League, has you connect your social media platforms in order to promote BlackBerry and earn points. The more points, the more entries. To win a BlackBerry hat. Or cup. Yay.
To get your first 100 points, you have to connect either your Twitter or Facebook account. Then, the Fan League (run by a company called Social Toaster) prompts you to connect even more accounts you can use to shill for BlackBerry, from Instagram to Pinterest to YouTube. Once you’ve decided where you’re willing to advertise BlackBerry, the platform gives you an array of depressing choices to be a worker drone and rack up more points.
Whereas some companies wrap these efforts in the sheen of games or, you know, personality (like Taco Bell’s 2014 burner phone campaign), BlackBerry doesn’t even try to make it enjoyable.
Here are some sample directives from the website:
“Promote BlackBerry Mobile in your status updates and/or tweets. Come back every day to show your support. Include all of these phrases: #BBMobile #BBFanLeaguePromo”
“Share more content. Here’s what you’ll be sharing: ‘BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition now available in the US from Amazon and Best Buy! – Both Amazon and Best Buy now have the BlackBerry KEYone Black Edition listed as in stock and available for $549 US.’”
It’s like a band’s social media hype team, minus all the fun.
The Fan League also gives you badges for completing tasks, which are worthless and come with copy that’s as exciting as being stuck in traffic. Also, adding an exclamation point to a sentence does not automatically make it more interesting!
The whole thing feels downtrodden and kind of desperate. Lest we forget, BlackBerry sold a total of 850,000 devices last year. Not just the KeyOne. All of them. It also feels kind of gross to spam my socials with terribly unclever BlackBerry ads. My coworker Micah summed up this whole project nicely. “I’d be mad if someone gave me that. Now I have to find a place to throw it out.”