Title: Rocketman
Client: BlackBerry
Year: 2011
Project: Advertising
Production: Lucid Inc.


BlackBerry asked us to launch the Torch—the company’s latest and greatest technology housed in an entirely new form. In keeping with our “Love What You Do” campaign, the spots would feature real, but un expected BlackBerry users. For the Torch we wanted people that really push the envelope, and a story that reframes the idea of ‘teamwork’, a mainstay BlackBerry brand tenet.

When concepting ideas sometimes we go in search of people or stories that meet a general, strategic idea. Other times, we look for the needle in the haystack, because it will be worth it if we find it. As one way to meet this brief, we sought out an honest-to-goodness rocket scientist, who uses a BlackBerry of course.

We filmed Neil and his team at Armadillo Aerospace, as they had integrated the Torch technologies in ways we hadn’t imagined, and prepared for a test launch of their soon-to-be-manned rocket.

Technical problems chain-reacted, and a foiled launch was all caught on film. Not the shining moment anyone wanted, and we quickly reassessed. A month later we returned to see the team, brimming with renewed optimism, and filmed a triumphant launch.

BlackBerry recognized value (and some kinship) in the failed launch, and the story ended up with a stronger message than when we started. Doing the near-impossible is fraught, but so worth it—an honest and admirable brand value. ‘Rocketman’ was a social media hit for BlackBerry, garnering postitive conversation, and a few admitted tears.