Sneakers Connoisseur

BlackBerry – 2010

To entice those somewhat intimidated by the smartphone market, RIM created the Style, a smartphone in the comfortably familiar flip phone form. Though just as robust and advanced as other BlackBerry models, it was fighting against appearances of being less powerful or old news because of its flip design.

To present the Style in a way that feels new and fresh, we went in search of a BlackBerry user known for setting their own cool and easy personal style. Through our network of journalists, researchers and fixers we searched across North America to find Jesse in New York City. Jesse runs and designs product for Alife, an eternally cool shoe and clothing brand, and is himself an impressive collector of sneakers. Jesse relies heavily on his BlackBerry for work and pleasure, and his easy going, natural manner makes him the perfect unscripted pitchman to refresh people’s opinions.

‘Sneakers Connoisseur’ ran across North America on television and online. Sales of the Style exceeded RIM’s expectations, and the spot became a hit across social networks. Tom Hank’s asked his manager to call RIM and get him one; “I want the phone in that ad.”