BlackBerry Brand Audit

A lengthy paper I completed for a Brand Equity Management class: BlackBerry-Brand-Audit.

BlackBerry is the poster child for a ‘challenger’ brand, having been in this unfortunate position for many years now.

After many hours of research and analysis, I almost decided there was no hope for this brand’s device business, but there’s always opportunity!

Overall, I think the brand needs some fresh new marketing concepts that can be implemented at low cost. Gee, what do we have on hand? Social media maybe? User-generated content maybe? Video marketing maybe?

Read my paper for specific recommendations. It is long (56 pages) by course requirement, but contains a handy Table of Contents that allows you to cut to the chase :).

Comments are welcome. I’m proud to be able to say I received an A+ on this paper, for the entire course, and have kept up a 4.0 GPA in grad school. I will receive my Masters degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University in August of 2016.




Creative Approach for West Virginia Travel & Tourism

As we approach the final project for Digital Storytelling, we are sharing our first drafts of our approach and scripts. My approach is a fictional one. Comments welcome. I will be refining this video project for submission next Monday.

My creative revisions have led me to a theme that incorporates the “almost heaven” association with West Virginia, and capitalizes on the diverse offerings of the state. Visually demonstrating the diversity addresses the songbird. We have everything from luxury hotels and restaurants to riverside camps and Mom & Pop diners.

The tone of the video is light, airy, and ethereal. The voice over is whispery and angelic. The typography for the text overlays will be floating and cloud-like.

The people in the video are an average, healthy, active family with a father, mother, and a girl and boy ages 8 – 10. The video shows how much there is to do and enjoy in West Virginia, and how much closer the family will become. Relaxing, unwinding and being content is the inherent theme throughout.

The background music throughout the video is a softly played, instrumental version of John Denver’s Country Roads. This subtly different score without lyrics will make people listen to determine what the familiar tune is.

Here is my first draft Shooting Script:


Shooting Scripts

This week’s assignment for IMC-634 Digital Storytelling involved reverse engineering shooting scripts from existing 30-second commercials. Here are my selections, and their basic scripts:

#1 – PETA “98% Human”



#2 – Hyundai Genesis – Dad’s Sixth Sense —




YouTube. (2014). Super Bowl 2014 Commercial – Hyundai Genesis – Dad’s Sixth Sense. Retrieved April 27, 2015, from

Vimeo. (2014). PETA “98% Human”. Retrieved April 27, 2015, from

Creative Briefs


Image Source:

This week’s Digital Storytelling assignment is developing creative briefs. Here’s my 2 clients:

#1 – West Virginia Tourism (


Focus: Headline – “It’s what you won’t find here that matters” – The video will focus on the aspects of tourism that will not be part of the West Virginia experience. Scenes of glitz, glamour, crowds, traffic, lines, high costs and general overwhelm ruining vacations transform to the peace and serenity found in nature, the simple country life, the low costs and memorable adventures found by visitors to West Virginia.

Issues:  The natural beauty of the state, seasonal outdoor activities, history and lower costs make for a great deal of potential for travel and tourism to West Virginia. West Virginia has an image of being backwards and impoverished, a stereotype that needs to be flipped around.

Audience:  The audience for this video is active young people, couples and families residing within driving distance to West Virginia. They are looking for outdoor adventures, cultural interest, and history while staying within budget. They want to get in touch with nature, and away from the big city hustle and bustle.

Content Points: The content of the video should include information on the natural attractions of WV – forests, state parks, mountains, eco systems, rivers. It will also include cultural and historical site information, e.g., railroads, war monuments, Appalachian culture. The content will also include visuals of the opposite of this frequently found in tourist areas – commercialism, crowds, high prices, overall stress.

Brand: West Virginia is all about the experience of simplicity. It’s “almost heaven”, “wild and wonderful”, low cost and no frills. This will be the branding theme for the State of West Virginia Travel and Tourism.



Image 1. (n.d.) Photograph “creative briefs”. Retrieved April 20, 2015, from

Image 2. (n.d.) Graphic “West Virginia Wild & Wonderful”. Retrieved April 20, 2015, from

#2 – Mineral County Chamber of Commerce (


Focus: Headline – “Everything you need is right here” – The video will feature scenes of residents and business owners shopping for the products they need, finding recreation and entertainment, and receiving the services they need from resources within Mineral County. The video will clearly promote doing business locally as well as showcase the area’s offerings.

Issues: Mineral County has a wide variety of products, services and activities available to residents, visitors and businesses. Many people may not be aware of these options as a result of lack of promotion. The Chamber has not developed a presence on social media, and its website needs updating.

Audience: Businesses and residents within the geographic area of Mineral County, West Virginia and visitors from the surrounding areas. The population of Mineral County is approximately 27,000, and there are over 1,800 businesses. (, 2014)

Mineral County is within driving distance from many major metropolitan areas including: Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Richmond, and Washington, DC (, 2012).

Content Points: The video content will include a variety of brief introductions to selected businesses and professionals, residents shopping and buying the things they need, people eating at restaurants, visitors enjoying festivals, and a link to a new website entitled “” (or similar) where they can sign up for an email newsletter to receive event information, local announcements, coupons, special promotions, and links to follow the Chamber on social media. The video will showcase Mineral County’s resources for both visitors and residents.

Reference: (2014). Population quick facts: Mineral County, West Virginia. Retrieved April 20, 2015, from (2012). Website: Mineral County Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved April 20, 2015, from

It’s a Spring Thing


Spring is my favorite season, and it marks the beginning of a period of high productivity for me. I’ve collected some IMC tips and ideas from a variety of great sources that I hope will give you some new energy or idea for your business.

Design Tips (from eHow)

“Spring is symbolized by green plants, butterflies, baby animals and blooming flowers. Use these symbols of spring along with bright cheery colors such as yellow, pink and green to suggest spring in your print ads, flyers and postcards. Use the word “Spring” in your ad headline to motivate viewers to take action. Extend your advertising power by changing the cover image on your Facebook page to look springlike and update your website home page so it pushes your springtime theme.” Read more.

Easter Holiday, Income Tax and Earth Day Themes (from Practical eCommerce)

Here are some great content marketing ideas that feature the “Easter holiday on 4/5/15, the IRS Tax return deadline on 4/15/15, and Earth Day on 4/22/15:

  • Craft retailer. How-to articles for making anything from Easter baskets to plastic Easter egg bunnies — Michael’s did the latter.
  • Kitchen supply retailers. Include recipes and articles demonstrating how to make your own Easter candy.
  • Lawn and garden retailer. Publish an article like “10 Secrets for a Better Easter Egg Hunt” or “5 Steps to Prepare Your Yard for Easter.”
  • Clothing retailer. What about a video that takes an historical look at Easter fashion for the last 100 years?
  • Book retailer. An article reviewing the ten best Easter books for children.”  Read more.

Social Media Spring Cleaning (from CrackerJackMarketing)

“Out with the old, in with the new, make sure it works, and…

Roll out the Fresh Content! Research new topic ideas and get on a regular posting schedule. This is especially important if you’ve slacked off on posting lately. Include some posts that provide company news or update your audience on your products or services. Provide helpful how-to’s, write posts that answer frequently asked questions, and upload attention-grabbing photos and videos. If you focus on a particular topic much of the time, shake things up with a new angle!” Read more.