Iconic Ads: Vodafone – Blackberry Boys

Vodafone was quick to notice this change. Blackberry had become a style statement and was a conversation starter

Remember Blackberry! Once upon a time, not long ago, Blackberry was launched as a smartphone for business people. It could perform many functions and surf the internet easily. This push-button phone soon attracted the youth.

Vodafone was quick to notice this change. Blackberry had become a style statement and was a conversation starter (who could forget the Blackberry messenger). They quickly launched prepaid packages which were reasonable and tailor-made to the smaller wallets of the youth. Before this, it was only a postpaid service.

The brief to Ogilvy was to launch the prepaid packages with a daily recharge option and make Blackberry services more accessible to allow the services to be more mainstream and be adopted by a larger audience.

Ogilvy nailed the brief with the Blackberry Boys campaign. It showed that it’s cool to be a Blackberry user and everyone is proud of it, while subtly stating that the prepaid plan was available. It seemed to say “business guys, Blackberry is not just yours, it is ours too”.

Rajiv Rao, Rajesh Mani, Mehul Patil, Sarang Wahal, Chatak Vakharia, and Anoop Menon all contributed to the creative process.

Rajiv had the inspiration for a song about men in the workplace who are moping because young people have entered their BlackBerry world. The idea was well received, and Rajesh quickly composed a functional lyric sheet. They contacted Anuradha Aggarwal, the client, who was excited and asked to meet immediately. Within the next half-hour, Anu and Vikram Passi showed up.

After passing on the script to Prakash Varma and Sneha at Nirvana, the agency’s creative team collaborated with Clinton Cerejo to come up with a fresh musical arrangement and cinematic treatment for “We’re the Blackberry Boys.”

The choice to go with the BlackBerry Boys was a daring move because it made them feel like you were laughing at them, potentially alienating the brand’s core consumers.

The ad ran for just a month and comparatively very little money was spent on advertising, but the commercial and the jingle went viral when no one expected it.

The ad was a huge success in establishing Vodafone’s prepaid BlackBerry plans, especially among the young. As a bonus, BlackBerry found itself with access to a whole new demographic of young people.

At BlackBerry’s international board meeting, the song was played since it served as a fitting tribute to the company’s achievements. Much to the delight of Blackberry’s staff!



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