BlackBerry certainly unveiled a surprise at its BlackBerry 10 launch event.
Not only did it announce its plans to drop RIM (Research in Motion) from its name – it’s now just BlackBerry – but towards the end of the presentation CEO Thorsten Heins brought Alicia Keys on stage. And not just as a performer or to endorse the new products. He announced the singer and songwriter as the new BlackBerry global creative director.
Keys said she will be involved in a range of activities and described the role as being “hands on.”
“I am an extremely committed and focused individual. I am going to work closely with the app designers and developers, the content creators, the retailers and the carriers to really explore this BlackBerry 10 platform and create ideas for its future,” Keys said on stage.
Keys did acknowledge that she has been using other phones since being a big fan years ago.
“I was in a long-term relationship with BlackBerry and then I started to notice some new, hotter, attractive, sexier phones at the gym. I kinda broke up with you for something with a little more bling,” she told Heins. “I always missed the way you organized my life and the way you were there for me at my job. So I started to have two phones, I was playing the field. But then you called and you said you were working it out. And now, we are exclusively dating again.”
However, many technology reporters were quick to point out that Keys is an avid Instagram user - an app not yet available for BlackBerry 10.
Perhaps she has only just started to use her BlackBerry Z10. But, of course, many celebrities endorse products they don’t strictly use. For instance,Jessica Alba, who appeared at Microsoft’s Windows Phone event, said she gave up her iPhone for a Windows phone. However, she has also beentweeting Instagram photos, though Instagram isn’t available for Windows phones, either.
Other companies have named celebrities as their creative directors in the past. Will.i.am held the position for Intel and Lady Gaga for Polaroid. Keys added that she will be working with other women and entertainers about building the new platform and wants to bridge the gap between the work phone and the play phone.