Yes, that Blackberry - the wireless phone and services developer.
During its public launch of its new device, the Blackberry 10, this morning in NYC, CEO Thorsten Heins introduced Alicia Keys as the company’s new Global Creative Director.
You may initially think of it as just an empty title, and that the plan here is really to use Keys' image to sell Blackberrys. Although, even if that were the case, when I think Blackberry, Alicia Keys isn't the first person that comes to mind, so I'm guessing this is the company's attempt to maybe attract a new kind of customer that they really haven't before - likely a younger, hipper global customer, since, I'd go out on a limb and say that, most in that crowd are probably using *cooler* iPhones and Android devices; Not Blackberrys, which tend to be found more in corporate environments.
But it's not just some passive name-plate apparently; Here's what Blackberry had to say in the press release it sent out:
... that Keys will be actively involved in the company in her new position, leading what it calls an array of new business initiatives that will drive engagement with BlackBerry and perception of the brand. In her new role, Keys will work closely with app developers, content creators, retailers, carriers and the entertainment community to further shape and enhance the BlackBerry 10 platform, and inspire creative use through its remarkable capabilities and functionality. From music to books, to film, to apps, Keys will lead the charge of enhancing entertainment consumption and distribution, through the power of BlackBerry 10.
CEO Heins praised Keys for just how connected she is to the digital universe, and her strongly she believes in the product and technology, and their overriding philosophy to ‘Keep Moving.’
“Staying connected has become a vital part of my creative process,” said Keys. “I have been using the BlackBerry 10 for a few weeks now, and I’m truly inspired by its innovation. It has entirely revolutionized the experience. I know the potential this platform has to help creative people be more productive, and help productive people be more creative. This is such an incredible age to be living in, with such profound advances in communications and technology. As Global Creative Director, my goal is to inspire creativity with this platform, and I’m so excited to jump right in."
At this morning’s launch event, Keys revealed BlackBerry’s new “Keep Moving” Project, which provides BlackBerry users withn exclusive content created by the likes of Robert Rodriguez, and author Neil Gaiman.
So, yeah, like I said, it's a re-branding effort by the company, which also changed its name from RIM to just Blackberry, by the way.
But as the NY Times points out, Ms Keys has been a long-time iPhone user, even tweeting from her iPhone as recently as 3 days ago, they say. So I assume that'll change effective immediately.
Regardless, kudos to Ms Keys who continues to expand her brand and portfolio, from producing Broadway plays, to producing movies, to this. And let's not forget her music and acting career. She also has a line of shoes with Reebok.
She's a mogul in the making - if she's not already there.