By Mika Rekai - Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 0 Comments
Introducing the Grammy-winner as global creative director brings the Z10 a celebrity endorsement
In a single day last week, Research in Motion launched a new operating system, two new smartphones and changed its company name to BlackBerry. It also introduced a new employee, global creative director Alicia Keys.
The Grammy-winning singer said her “goal is to inspire creativity” in her new job (despite tweeting from an iPhone a day earlier). But will she be more than just a celebrity endorser? Giving musicians lofty creative director titles (will.i.am at Intel in 2011, Lady Gaga at Polaroid in 2009) has become an oft-ridiculed trend at tech companies. Kenneth Wong, a marketing expert at Queen’s University, says a true collaboration with Keys could actually be beneficial. “Celebrity culture is deeply integrated with the Internet and social media,” says Wong. And Keys could serve as a bridge to the app world that BlackBerry ignored in the past. “For BlackBerry not to use her would be a missed opportunity,” he says.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, February 1, 2010 at 1:01 PM - 6 Comments
The Grammys are to pop music what the Super Bowl is to sports
It is perhaps possible to take the Grammy Awards seriously. But only if you stop worrying about them.
Consider, for a moment, the National Football League.
The NFL is presently the premier professional sports league in North America: a multi-billion-dollar cultural institution that can claim, in the Super Bowl, the biggest single sporting event on the planet. Its athletes are among the world’s most exceptional and most beloved. But success in the NFL is not the ultimate standard of sporting achievement. The NFL does not define the concept of sport. In fact, no league, tournament or event—not even the Olympics—does. And it is generally understood that it is impossible to compare athletes of different leagues and disciplines—any discussion of “the world’s greatest athlete” generally defined by he or she who dominates their particular competition most spectacularly. (Tiger Woods, for instance, wasn’t ever as fast or as strong as any number of Olympians, football players or basketball players. But he was, by virtue of his unique excellence in golf, in the conversation as the best athlete in the world.)
By Brian D. Johnson - Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 12:20 PM - 1 Comment
The famous singer is behind a Toronto jewellery maker’s fairy-tale success story
Gisèle Theriault’s life reads like a fairy tale: a barber’s daughter from Cape Breton takes a talismanic necklace of gold and rubies to a glittering ball attended by superstars and a former U.S. president. There’s even a fairy godmother—Alicia Keys. Theriault was operating a modest solo business out of her Toronto home, handcrafting silver jewellery engraved with inspirational messages, when she met Keys backstage at a concert last year. The pop diva took the jeweller under her wing, and since then Oprah Winfrey has been wearing her work. Theriault now has ﬁve employees and shares a New York publicist with Keys and the late Michael Jackson. This month Keys launched an enterprise called AK Worldwide, making her protege’s jewellery line its pilot project. And last week at the Black Ball—a star-studded Manhattan gala to raise money for children with AIDS—Theriault saw a necklace that she created auctioned off for US$40,000. She had hoped it would go for more, but had a big consolation. The buyer was Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry.
A few days before the Black Ball, Theriault sat in the sun-splashed kitchen of her home—a three-storey semi that doubles as the headquarters for her company, the Barber’s Daughter—and served a slice of vegan pumpkin pie and ﬂowering tea. As a jasmine bloom opened like a sea anemone in a glass teapot, she confessed that, after working until 4:30 a.m. to ﬁnish the necklace for the ball, she had a dream that it sold for $100,000. “I govern myself by dreams,” she says, and her subconscious appraisal wasn’t so far-fetched. For last year’s Black Ball, she made a silver necklace that sold for US$25,000. This one is far more lavish, and made of 18-karat gold. Continue…