Over here in San Francisco, even the iPhone-totting Valley locals are generally nodding with approval at RIM’s latest creation, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The device name has warranted just a cursory nod before discussions of price, availability and other such issues.
Abroad, however, it’s a slightly different story. I’ve had a lot of emails and a good few Tweets asking what I think of the brand.
I like it.
When I first heard the name, I was prompted to think of the device in a business-cum-personal context. I liked the contrast between ‘playbook’ in the context of plans and strategy mixed in with a dollop of entertainment.
But I’ve spent quite a bit of time steeped in North American culture, where the term ‘playbook’ is synonymous with American Football. Here’s one definition of the term I found online:
You can’t walk into a sports bar in America without a Sports TV anchor going on about ‘the playbook’. It’s a ubiquitous term widely understood.
‘PlayBook’ everywhere else — at least in the UK — is the kind of thing I’ll shortly be buying my 3-month-old Son. You know, Spot The Dog, Burglar Bill, that kind of thing.
Hence the initial confusion echoing across the webosphere yesterday from the European side of the Atlantic.
Conventional PR and marketing wisdom is that you can take almost any word or jumble of letters and make it mean what you want.
That said, I don’t necessarily think it’s a problem. I don’t think the name will put executives off purchasing them.
That’s my feeling. What do you think?