BlackBerry parts ways with Alicia Keys after one year

BlackBerry is parting company with global creative officer Alicia Keys just one year after it signed up the singer to the role to coincide with the launch of its BlackBerry 10 operating system.

WATERLOO, ONTARIO: BlackBerry is parting company with global creative officer Alicia Keys just one year after it signed up the singer to the role to coincide with the launch of its BlackBerry 10 operating system.

The surprise appointment of Keys aimed to bolster the marketing of the make-or-break operating system, but disappointing sales resulted in a dramatic profit fall and the departure of chief executive Thorsten Heins after a sale to its biggest shareholder collapsed.

BlackBerry will part company with Keys at the end of the month. It said in a statement that it had “completed our year-long collaboration.”

“We thank [Keys] for her many contributions including providing creative direction for the BlackBerry Keep Moving Project, which attracted more than 40 million visits, advocating for women in science, technology, engineering, and math, and launching the BlackBerry Scholars Program,” it said in the statement. “We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented and passionate individual.”

At the time of Keys' appointment, BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben told Marketing that her recruitment was not a "traditional product endorsement" strategy.

The Keep Moving marketing campaign that supported the launch of BlackBerry 10 was "by far" the company's biggest marketing campaign, according to Boulben.

Keys' work for the Keep Moving campaign included the creation of a video in each city where she performed her “Set the World on Fire” tour, with each customized video based on ideas she received from her fans.

Boulben left the company in November as part of another management shake-up at BlackBerry and was replaced by b-to-b marketing specialist Mark Wilson, who was given the title of SVP of marketing.

Wilson joined from business communications company Avaya. His appointment comes as BlackBerry is seeking to turn around its fortunes by focusing its efforts on its business roots.

BlackBerry consolidated most of its global PR account in April 2013 with a team from APCO Worldwide and Text100 after a multiple-round review. The account has been estimated to be worth about $10 million.

This story originally appeared on the website of Marketing.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.