If Barack Obama wasn’t going to be the leader of the United States his devotion to his BlackBerry could have made him a mint. Big name endorsements fetch millions. Jerry Seinfeld just pocketed $10 million for a Microsoft campaign.
The Seinfelds of the world are great for advertising firms but the biggest endorsement is being got at a basement bargain price.
Obama and his very public love affair with his BlackBerry is a marketing exec’s dream.
The New York Times quotes Obama on that love;
“I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday in an interview with CNBC and The New York Times. “They’re going to pry it out of my hands.”
Those words are pure poetry to marketers. If Obama wasn’t a public servant he could get upwards of $50 million for those words. Instead the endorsement is coming in free and clear.
Somewhere a BlackBerry ad exec is sighing in pure bliss.
“This would be almost the biggest endorsement deal in the history of endorsements,” said Doug Shabelman, the president of Burns Entertainment, which arranges deals between celebrities and companies. “He’s consistently seen using it and consistently in the news arguing — and arguing with issues of national security and global welfare — how he absolutely needs this to function on a daily basis.”
Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry has started a ad campaign that positions BlackBerry as a consumer product much like the iPhone. With the new touch-screeen Storm the market is wide open. Using John Mayer to be one of the front faces is also a decent move. Just not as great as it would be if Obama’s smiling mug was on an ad blitz poster.
All of this endorsement doesn’t just help BlackBerry. Obama has profitted also with being seen as a man on the edge of the future. He is viewed as a man who is in touch with the reality of the real world and not just some stuffy politician.
“The BlackBerry anecdotes are a huge part of Obama’s brand reputation,” Fran Kelly, the chief executive of the advertising agency Arnold Worldwide said. “It positions him as one of us: he’s got friends and family and people to communicate with us, just like all of us. And it positions him as a next-generation politician.”