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RIM Hits a New Embarrassing Low

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When the Burger King Kids Club debuted in the late '80s, it felt fitting. The multicultural, multi-talented, multi-peripatetic crew was specifically "assembled" to target the youth market in promotion for its kid-friendly meals. Like other diversified groups of upbeat adolescents, the objective is to reach a younger, hipper demographic and mold what could be a staid or stodgy brand into something more fun and unpredictable.

But while Burger King had relatively good returns with its Kids Club, skewing a youth market requires a bit of finesse -- otherwise, the brand appears more out of touch. We've seen Microsoft (MSFT) fail another ad campaign with a "sexy party" ad promoting its line of Kin devices, and Miracle Whip earned a heap of mockery for its infamous "Don't Be So Mayo!" campaign.

However, neither Microsoft nor Miracle Whip hits quite the embarrassing low as Research in Motion's (RIMM) new "Bold Team" campaign.


Yes, while it isn't praying for complete iPhone (AAPL) and Android (GOOG) security failure, RIM is aiming to become "better and bolder in 2012" with a new team of fresh-faced and -- yes -- multicultural superheroes.

"On New Year's Eve, BlackBerry took over Times Square for the biggest New Year's Eve party in the USA and asked how you planned to #BeBold in 2012," reads the ad copy.

Took over Times Square? Biggest New Year's Eve party in the USA? #BeBold hashtag? Good God, RIM.

It boldly continues, "Four Bold characters emerged from your #BeBold resolutions -- all are bravely stepping out of 2011 and into 2012 filled with unlimited possibilities."

Prepare yourself, Apple. Gird your OS, Google. Cut your losses, Nokia (NOK). 'Cause this team of superheroes ain't carrying your granddaddy's smartphones. Nope, they've got BlackBerries!

Let's meet the team.

Gogo Girl, aka The Achiever, is "saving the day with a brilliant strategy, a smile, or a spatula." (Ah, she cooks! Got it, RIM!) She's also "clever, resourceful, and just a bit random." Good for you, Gogo. No need to think completely out of the box. After all, staying within its boundaries is what put RIM in the position it is today.

Then we have Max Stone -- The Adventurer. "He's tough, proud, and a little wild." Again, Max, kudos. We wouldn't want RIM's corporate direction to veer too far off course. Jump out of a plane and land on a moving speedboat if you must, but for Pete's sake, maintain the status quo!

Rounding out the men, there's Justin Steele, The Advocate. He's all about sticking up for his friends and "saving cats caught in trees." (The latter being a hobby.) Justin's the social member of the group, so in his spare time, he's "using Social Feeds." Whoa, go easy on the trendy jargon, RIM. I know you're tapping into the youth market, but don't risk alienating the over-30 crowd with the street lingo.

Finally, we have Trudy Foreal. (Fo' real! Ha! That name's the bomb!!) Trudy's also known as The Authentic. Her interests include "long walks on the beach" (fo' real) and "old-school ninja movies" (fo' real). She's "inquisitive, cautious, and unabashedly charming." I'm not exactly sure where her superpower lies, but if it's her ability to "call it as she sees it," I assume that trait is in short supply at RIM.

And there we have it. RIM's bold new marketing campaign to amp up the excitement and usher in a fleet of younger BlackBerry users by using their inherent adoration of cartoon superheroes and corporate hashtags.

Windows 7 Party, you've met your match.


(See also: RIM CEO Prays iPhone and Android Security Will Fail and iPhone Can't Match Android's Versatility, Says Steve Wozniak)

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