It's easy to dismiss a celebrity product endorsement as an empty money grab, but not so when the celeb is Black Eyed Pea's front man Will.i.am and the product is his BlackBerry. When speaking about his phone there seems to be an honest affinity between the man and the brand, a relationship he plans to capitalize on as a means to communicate directly with his audience.
"I've been using them since the very beginning; I'm a BlackBerry fan-fan," Will.i.am said.
At one time this may have meant Will.i.am used the same PDA handsets as the rest of world's "CrackBerrys," but not anymore. Now he wields two highly customized, one-of-a-kind BlackBerry smartphones, one with a sapphire battery cover, the other with a dazzling trim of diamonds. Not the sort of phones you'd want to leave behind after a night boozing up in a German beer house.
As a self-confessed BlackBerry addict, it's not surprising, then, that Will.i.am has chosen the BlackBerry platform to launch an app for his Internet side project, a social-networking creative collaboration tool called Dipdive. Making the most of the BlackBerry proprietary push notification system, DipDive lets users push files back and forth, letting friends and admirers listen to tracks you're working on, or critique your latest photos.
Between Dipdive and the in-built BlackBerry Messenger app (available on all new BlackBerry phones), Will.i.am feels he has found the perfect way to communicate directly with his fanbase. Sharing thoughts and messages and even clips of his works-in-progress is only the beginning. With his BlackBerry in hand, Will.i.am wants to change the way people listen to his music.
Read more of "Will.i.am, BlackBerry and the future of music distribution" on CNET Australia.