Lifestyle branding is currently a big trend in global marketing circles. Realising this, cellular brand BlackBerry together with its media agency SMG, part of the Starcom MediaVest Group, have partnered with Johannesburg City Parks to establish the BlackBerry @ Sandton Central Park initiative.
The new public park at the corner of Sandton and Grayston Drives in Sandton, Johannesburg represents the perfect branding vehicle given that BlackBerry’s positioning is all about bringing people and experiences together.
“The big idea behind the project is to integrate the BlackBerry brand into consumers’ leisure time in a sophisticated and meaningful manner. This includes BlackBerry-sponsored live music concerts and other community orientated events that add value to residents’ lives,” says BlackBerry business unit manager Robert Notrica.
The BlackBerry @ Sandton Central Park initiative is just the latest in a broader sponsorship strategy that SMG has rolled out for BlackBerry in the last year. Another innovative approach that was utilised earlier this year to really leverage one of BlackBerry’s pillars namely Fashion was a Style Reporter competition in association with Elle magazine.
The competition targeted fashionistas who read the magazine giving them the opportunity to become an official fashion blogger mentored by Elle. The winner will not only be given the latest BlackBerry device in order to blog with but will also serve as an intern at Elle for a period of seven months and will attend London Fashion week in February 2013
“We saw the opportunity to really stand out from the clutter and penetrate the fashion industry, given that SA Fashion Week is saturated with sponsors, which makes it very difficult to differentiate a brand. The blogging aspect was new and by being creative we definitely stood out from the clutter. This is also a prime example of innovation; namely taking the print platform and leveraging it off a digital and social media platform,” says Notrica.
BlackBerry Strategist Tandi Schneider adds that BlackBerry enabled young talented South Africans, giving them the opportunity to pursue their passions and achieve more than they would alone. This initiative generated 300 entrants which is Elle magazine’s most successful competition to date
“In light of current tight market conditions and smaller budgets, you have to keep on innovating. The opportunities are out there, you just have to find them by being open to different ideas,” says Nortica. “Whereas in the past we would have stuck to safer options, now we’re much more open to trying new strategies for the benefit of our clients.”