In september Canada’s Research in Motion (RIM) announced their the new BlackBerry tablet, called PlayBook. It’s BlackBerry’s attempt to get a piece of the new tablet market, currently owned by Apple’s iPad. PlayBook will have a 7-inch touch screen and will have the ability to handle Flash content. However, RIM didn’t present any solid launch dates beyond “early 2011,” and didn’t mention a retail price.
In the beginning of 2010 RIM announced that they’ll be a main sponsor of Black Eyes Peas’ “The E.N.D World Tour LIVE”. This was not a surprise: RIM had sponsored U2’s world tour before and Will.I.Am of Black Eyes Peas has played a big part of BlackBerry promotions in the past.
But a few days ago a very interesting thing happened. Black Eyed Peas premiered their video for a brand new song The Time (The Dirty Bit), which is a “cover” of Bill Medley’s and Jennifer Warner’s song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”, from the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. The Time is one of the 12 new songs on Black Eyed Peas new album The Beginning.
As you could see on the picture The Time feature RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook. Promoting new gadgets in music videos is nothing new, but this one interests me, because we don’t know when we could buy it. In many ways this cooperation has similarities with iPad’s appearance in the TV show Modern Family in April 2010 (you can read about it in Will iPad’s product placement go into marketing handbooks). But there was a significant difference. Modern Family was aired just couple of days before the start of iPad sales, so we could expect the effect on sales. In case of PlayBook the cooperation is obviously oriented in raising brand awareness. The video features examples of augmented reality by combining the rear-facing camera with avatars of band members.
PlayBook played a big part in the video, resulting in several seconds of prominent screen time. It wouldn’t surprise me if cooperation between BlackBerry and Black Eyed Peas will be massively extended: I’d expect to see PlayBook in their next video and some sort of connection between Will.I.Am and the gadget.
PlayBook was not the only product placement in The Time video. For couple of seconds we could notice the “Sili Forever White” wrist watch by ICE-watch. Again, this is not the first product placement for ICE-watches. We could see it in the video for Missing You by The Saturdays and David Guetta’s video for One Love. You can read more about ICE-watches in the blog post The future of product placement in music videos