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New BlackBerry campaign hopes you'll laugh with them, not at them

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RIM has tapped College Humor's Streeter Seidell and Amir Blumenfeld for a new BlackBerry campaign aimed at teens and 20-somethings.

Porsche Design BB video_1020
Porsche Design BB video_1020

As the old saying goes, laughter is the best medicine, and RIM sure seems to think that will hold true for its ailing brand. The BlackBerry maker has hired College Humor's Streeter Seidell and Amir Blumenfeld to head up a new Challenge Council campaign aimed at the 30-and-under crowd. Details on what exactly the comedians will be doing are scant, but a teaser on RIM's BBM Generation website notes that the duo "are about to shut down BlackBerry trash talk once and for all." Considering the trajectory of the BlackBerry's market share, we have a feeling the "trash talk" issue will eventually work itself out.

This isn't the first time RIM has teamed up with College Humor to try to engage a younger audience. The comedy website has produced a BlackBerry-branded sketch called BBM Roulette, in which passersby are asked to send an embarrassing or ridiculous BBM to someone in their address book. If they can last five minutes without a response, they win $100. While RIM is surely reaching its intended market, it's not exactly the type brand synergy that has us running out to grab a PlayBook from the bargain bin.

The new campaign is the second time RIM has run its oddly named Challenge Council project. Last year, the company invited young BlackBerry users to submit videos to various categories — such as music, business, and acting — which were then judged by celebrities. Winners were deemed "protégés" and got to meet one of the judges. Given Seidell and Blumenfeld's history of joking around, we don't think the new campaign will be quite as aspirational. However, College Humor definitely has the comedy chops to at least make it interesting, but we're just not sure if they can top the unintentionally hilarious — and quickly abandoned — Be Bold superhero campaign.