With Blackberry's recent announcement of Alicia Keys as Global Creative Director, some people seem to be concerned that a similar stratagem taken on by Polaroid with regard to Lady Gaga some years ago, which didn't seem to help that ailing company turn around.
Maybe they're right, but I see some key differences. Unlike Gaga, Alicia Cook, Lellow, or as she's more famously know, Alicia Keys is not a rising star. She's a star. She's set into the sky. She's the winner of fourteen Grammy awards, and has been a leading force in moving R&B and Soul into the mainstream music genres of the 21st century without watering it down.
This is exactly the type of talent that Blackberry could use. Like R&B in the beginning of this century the advent of the iPhone and the Android devices which followed it knocked them down, but not out. Working with artists that have both widespread appeal and yet are still known for their extremely unique properties (i.e. Alicia Key's pop-soul, Neil Gaiman's brand of science-fantasy storytelling, Robert Rodriguez's nouveau western approach to his signature works) allows Blackberry to appeal to both the generation of 30-something geeks who have completely invaded the mainstream of pop-culture (just try to avoid a commercial comic-book based film these days) and the organizations which employ them... the corporations which have remained tried and true to the Blackberry handsets as their preferred tools of mobile corporate communication.
Will having these stars working with the devices cause someone to choose a Blackberry over another device? I'm not sure. In fact, I somewhat doubt it. What I am sure of is that if Blackberry leans on this talent for the purposes of determining where they plan to move their products in the future, they'll be in a far better position in the next five years than they have been during the last half-decade. True innovation is what these individuals have to offer and innovation is exactly what Blackberry needs.
Via [Alicia Keys Becomes Official Creative Director for BlackBerry «Inside BlackBerry - The Official BlackBerry Blog]