Culture Jamming

For my culture jamming assignment, I chose to attack Blackberry, the once widely popular phone company. This ad, which appeared during the height of Blackberry’s success in 2006, was originally designed to show how the business world favored the Blackberry over other popular phone companies such as Apple and Samsung for its superior technological capabilities including email, etc. Since that time, Blackberry’s phone sales have dropped in dramatic fashion. The evidence is not only clear in the business world along with everyday consumers.

While Blackberry decided to stay stagnant in the development of new technologies, other companies not only duplicated but also surpassed Blackberry making the brand irrelevant. Loyalists looking for a different option or businesses who received contracts remain to purchase Blackberry products, but the damage has been done. Research shows that Blackberry, although still present in the market, only take up 9.3% of smartphone sales in 2012. These numbers are considered extremely low, and it is almost impossible to see the company operating at this level for too much longer.

I chose this ad to illustrate how once loyal customers are now abandoning their Blackberrys for other models of smartphones. In this particular ad a man of important business stature, Shawn Baldwin, is pictured holding his phone and smiling down looking at it. Below, there is a quote that reads, “Ask Shawn Baldwin why he loves his Blackberry.” Below that there is another quote, presumably from Shawn himself that explains exactly why he is in love with his phone.

The changes that I made to the ad are pretty simple in terms of design. I chose to cross out the word “love” in the first line of the ad, and replace it with the phrase, “used to love.” Then, I chose to make the font of the correction look like handwriting in order to make a viewer think that Shawn himself now disagrees with the ad, and decided to make it his duty make the changes.

Another change I made was below the Blackberry logo in the bottom right corner. In this area, Blackberry would normally place their slogan. I decided to replace that slogan with the phrase, “going out of business.” This is meant to convey the fact that under current circumstances, the end of Blackberry is imminent and it will only be a matter of time before they disband or are sold to another company.


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