Kim Kardashian revealed her love for BlackBerry on Monday, at the Code/Mobile conference in Half Moon Bay, California, going so far as to describe the phone as “my heart and soul” in an on-stage interview with Re/code’s Kara Swisher.
“I love my BlackBerry. I don’t understand the reaction I get when I say that,” Kardashian said.
Evidently surprised at Kardashian’s unpaid endorsement, Swisher replied, “Well, it’s the Model T of phones.”
“They don’t even have them in stores anymore. I buy them on eBay. It’s a BlackBerry Bold. And I like to have three in my room that I line up in case they break,” added the star of reality TV’s “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.
For those who find it easy to write off the star of TV and social media, it’s worth considering the extent and savvy of Kardashian’s empire, which includes a series of spin-off television shows, a fragrance, a chain of retail and fashion boutiques and a free app called Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which by allowing players to make in-app purchases has earned over $200 million since its June release.
Kardashian likely doesn’t play the game herself, as it’s only an iOS and/or Android release, and not available for BlackBerry. On the other hand, she doesn’t need to play the game. She lives it.
When Kara Swisher announced that Kardashian would be a feature interview subject at the typically serious Re/code conference, Twitter along with the undead army of on-line commenters, moaned that the journalist, who has interviewed the likes of Steve Jobs, had “jumped the shark”, interviewing Kardashian simply for her clickbait star appeal.
In a blog post, Swisher wrote that “to simply consider Kardashian West some kind of empty vessel of a person who trips into all this mobile success is really not what’s happening here.”
Doubters underestimate Kardashian’s business savvy at their peril. In an age when tech-oriented entrepreneurs bemoan the inability of the business world’s best minds to grasp the importance of audience engagement, it’s worth pointing out that probably no one leverages 24.7 million Twitter followers more effectively than Kardashian. She expands her fame as effectively via Instagram and Vine as through the presumed dead medium of TV.
“Why do people not take you seriously?” asked Swisher, kicking off the interview.
“I don’t know. That is a question that sometimes I get frustrated with,” replied Kardashian, before launching into a surprise declaration of love for the Canadian handset manufacturer in which she publicly muses about buying the company, so that BlackBerry doesn’t “go extinct.”
“I’m on a mission to make that not happen,” she added.
Whether Industry Canada would allow a Kardashian takeover of BlackBerry is another question.
As if to reinforce her savvy, earlier this year Kardashian had the good sense to select Montreal’s LightSpeed Retail point-of-sale system to power the back-end retail component of her chain of DASH fashion boutiques.
“Have you gone to Waterloo to discuss it with them?” asked Swisher about Kardashian’s BlackBerry fixation. “Why don’t you become a spokesmodel?”
“I feel like I should. I’m going to make a call after this,” Kardashian West gamely replied.
Speaking at Recode's Code Mobile tech conference in San Fran with karaswisher http://t.co/YI5LXEa76F
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 28, 2014