RIM Claims Responsibility for Aussie “Wake Up” Stunt

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“Wake up!” shouted the protestors, or make that marketers. “Wake up!” they shouted! They held up black placards that emphasized the message. “Wake Up!” the placards shouted—actually, the placards didn’t shout, they merely stated “WAKE UP.” When it comes to the written form, an exclamation point apparently wasn’t needed.

Wait, you want to know what I’m talking about? Here, check out the video if you haven’t already seen it:

People In Matching Costumes Extolling the Importance of Wakefulness

That video was posted to YouTube by one Nate ‘Blunty’ Burr,” a tech blogger in Australia who happened to be on hand when the stunters showed up. I say “happened to be on hand,” but he’s already fessed up that it was no coincidence he was there. Which is fine, this isn’t about Blunty or his video, but rather about Research In Motion.

In any event, a big expensive bus showed up at the Sydney CBD Apple Store and disgorged a small horde of young men and women dressed in more or less matching black outfits holding up the above-mentioned black placards. They lined up outside the Apple Store, brandished their placards, and yelled “Wake up!” in a sing-song chant as devoid of passion as it was of actual message.

This happened on April 22nd, and there was instant speculation that it was a marketing stunt by Samsung. The Galaxy device maker has a new Android device coming out soon, and the company has already shown it’s willing to base its marketing around Apple and its Apple Store phenomenon.

And that had to chap RIM’s hide. Can you imagine anything worse than planning a guerrilla marketing stunt and seeing one of your major rivals given credit for it?

So on Tuesday, RIM came out to make sure that folks knew that it was behind the stunt, telling TheAge that, “We can confirm that the Australian ‘Wake Up’ campaign, which involves a series of experiential activities taking place across Sydney and Melbourne, was created by RIM Australia.”

Apparently RIM wanted someone to “Wake up!” or at least to “WAKE UP.”

As Chris Kattan said, “What does that mean?”

Seriously, what does it mean? Who should be waking up? Blunty himself asked that question in his video. Was it aimed at Apple? The retail employees? Apple’s customers? Whichever group, what’s the problem being addressed? Have they overslept? I suppose it’s nice that RIM was so concerned.

Maybe it was more of a “Note to self: WAKE UP.” kind of situation, because certainly if there’s any company that seems to be oversleeping, it would be RIM. The company’s market share in the smartphone market it helped to create is vanishing like a bag full of M&Ms smuggled into a fat farm.

I love M&M’s and wish I had some right now, so please forgive that hamfisted simile.

Does RIM think that Apple has been sleeping all this time? Does the company want Apple to “WAKE UP.” so it can really kick RIM’s butt? Was the shellacking the BlackBerry platform has been getting just not quite rough enough? It seems a little risky urging the company that has left you in the dust to work a little harder.

Worse, it seems counter productive to me make your competition the focus of your marketing, even when it’s a stunt. to do so in a way that leaves everyone and their brother assuming it was someone else is just the kicker.

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2 Comments

Garion

This is quite possibly the worst PR stunt since Microsoft held a funeral for the iPhone and (somewhat ironically), the BlackBerry.

http://tctechcrunch.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/334.jpg?w=630&h=377

Lee Dronick

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