Now That Alicia Keys Is No Longer Blackberry's 'Creative Director' Can We Stop Using Pop Stars As Fake Creative Directors?

from the please? dept

Three years ago, we called out the stupid trend of big tech companies pretending that they’d hired some pop star as “creative director” after Intel had named to that role and Polaroid had done the same with Lady Gaga. A year later, we repeated what a dumb idea this was when Blackberry named noted iPhone user Alicia Keys to the same role. As we said, if this was, say, an actual music service, and the person was really involved, it might make sense. But the truth of all three of these situations was that they were little more than a promotional sponsorship deal pretending to be a “hire.” And, this really discounts the hard work that actual creative directors do for these companies.

Either way, it should come as little surprise that Blackberry — a company on the verge of not existing — is now admitting that Keys is “leaving her role” exactly a year after it started. Let’s be frank here: she’s not “leaving her role.” She had a one year endorsement/promotional contract, and that deal is now ending. The idea that she was actually employed as a creative director is clearly bogus. What did she do?

She appeared at numerous corporate events throughout the year and in some promotional material.

Right. Same exact thing as a typical celebrity endorsement deal.

For whatever reason, tech companies always seem to announce these things in January (often in conjunction with CES, which is taking place next week). Hopefully, this year, we can avoid such silliness. I don’t want to hear about Justin Bieber becoming “creative director” at IBM or Miley Cyrus’ new “job” as “creative director” at Microsoft.

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Companies: blackberry, intel, polaroid

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Comments on “Now That Alicia Keys Is No Longer Blackberry's 'Creative Director' Can We Stop Using Pop Stars As Fake Creative Directors?”

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out_of_the_blue says:

Middle-age Mike is here.

Hoo, boy! This is both most trivial item I can recall, and the most telling of your imminent “hardening of the attitudes”. Gosh, you’re geezering-up right before our eyes. This is practically “get off my lawn you little creative director” level.

Face it, Mike, you hit your peak with “Streisand Effect” and it’s been downhill since.

On a sad note, I haven’t seen any of my clones today…

Google. Collecting and collating every bit.


Anonymous Coward says:

ahh, it’s good to see that my favorite show is back!
OOTB vs Techdirt! New season starting, well, whenever really.
I really hope you’re being compensated in some way (but hopefully not sexually) in terms of your continued entertainment performances on this site. Now that you’re back from xmas (which you chastised Mike for possibly not posting in these holiday weeks, which you failed to deliver on because you didn’t post anything either :'( ) I look forward to another happy year of the utter hilarity of Mr. Out-of-the-blue vs the site of Techdirt.


Ash says:


“designed a very sexy car, the IAMAUTO”

Surely you jest? It was the, which is obviously a much sexier and much more creative design than you suggest. That you were unwilling to credit Mr (or, as personal friends are lucky enough to call him, “lowercase will”) appropriately speaks poorly of your character. For shame, sir!

Anonymous Coward says:

“she’s not “leaving her role.” She had a one year endorsement/promotional contract, and that deal is now ending. “


her one year contract was as a endorsement and promotional contractor, her contract expired (after 1 year, as 1 year contract tend to do) and as such she is LEAVING HER ROLE as an endorsement and promotional contractor!

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