“Blackberry: ‘Shoot the Apple'” Advertisement Analysis

Published on December 2nd, 2014 by kimja. Filed under Advertising, CGI, New Technology


In 2009, Guava Studios unofficially published a 16-second advertisement for Blackberry. The advertisement concisely and implicitly attacks its rival company Apple’s iPhone and highlights Blackberry’s unique selling proposition of a touch screen. It uses the “show-not-tell” method with simple but symbolic montages and photorealistic computer-generated images (CGI).

Opening with a black screen and the sound of a gun loading, the advertisement stimulates the audience’s curiosity and anticipation. Using the on-beat audio-sync editing—the perfect harmonization of the beat and the image— it then transitions into the long horizontal scene of an apple sitting in the center at the exact moment of an off-screen gunshot sound. This technique helps to enhance the audience’s interest in and attention to the advertisement.

Even though the advertisement does not explicitly show the logos of the two companies, the viewer can recognize them due to the use of associative montage that portrays these parties with two photorealistic CGI-generated fruits of their names— blackberry and apple. When the bullet—in the form of a blackberry— finally appears in the scene with fast-paced music, it penetrates the apple in slow motion and sudden silence. The immediate change in sound and filming speed leaves a lasting memory of this specific scene in the audience.  Contrast montage also appears in the association of the blackberry with a fast and powerful bullet—rather than a tiny, feeble subject—that can crash and pierce through the core of a hard apple. Although this phenomenon is implausible, the believable CGI-generated depiction of the shapes and of the ballistic impact convinces the audience to believe in not only what they see but also the implied message—Blackberry is better than Apple.

The advertisement effectively conveys the controversial idea visually without being too offensive or tactless. However, it does not inform the audience much about Blackberry’s products—other than the text “The world’s first touch-screen Blackberry” at the end— and actually benefits Apple with viral marketing. Regardless of the lack of product information, this advertisement succeeds in using various techniques that cause lasting memory in the audience.


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