Beleaguered RIM confirms responsibility for ‘Wake Up’ mock protest at Apple Store Sydney

“A stunt by BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) designed to make fun of Apple has backfired on the ailing company, say commentators,” James Manning reports for The Sydney Morning Herald.

“RIM today owned up to being responsible for an extended protest outside Apple’s Sydney CBD store last week after online sleuths traced the source of the publicity stunt,” Manning reports. “But the marketing ambush comes as too little too late, says Tiphereth Gloria, social media strategist at VML Australia. ‘The punch line – which is the fact that Blackberry is behind it – is what makes it fail because Blackberry is not associated with any kind of success,’ she says.”

Manning reports, “The company was then forced to deny that it paid bloggers to report on the stunt after it emerged that the man who managed to capture the protest on video, Nate ‘Blunty’ Burr, had previously posted a glowing three-part review of the BlackBerry Playbook. ‘Bloggers were not paid for this campaign or told what to say,’ they said. ‘Neither RIM, nor any agencies on RIM’s behalf, have ever paid Blunty.'”

“RIM’s protest at the Apple store involved a flash mob of black-clad demonstrators shouting at customers to ‘wake up,'” Manning reports. “Other facets of the campaign involved people dressed in black standing outside Channel Seven’s Sunrise studios in Sydney’s CBD holding signs of the slogan, and this morning a speedboat sporting the logo reportedly raced around Sydney Harbour… The campaign also has a website, featuring nothing but the slogan ‘Wake Up’ and a countdown timer, which has been timed to the release date of BlackBerry’s new operating system BlackBerry10.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And we thought Palm was delusional.

Related articles:
Beleaguered RIM might be behind Apple Store Sydney ‘Wake Up’ campaign – April 30, 2012
Samsung denies staging ‘Wake Up’ anti-Apple flashmob outside Apple Store Sydney – April 27, 2012
Why is Tim Cook still doing business with Samsung? Samsung stages ‘protest’ at Australian Apple Store (with video) – April 26, 2012


  1. As a Canadian, I’m simply embarrassed. Someone should be fired for coming up with that idea and someone should be fired for approving it. I truly can’t believe that the sum of RIM’s intellectual talent can’t produce a better marketing concept, after all, they’re certainly not working on product.

    1. This tactic is an example of the underlying thinking at RIM. This shows that the truly believe Apple’s success with the iPhone is driven by marketing and hype. They are in denial that the iPhone is simply a better product. They still cannot believe that Apple just walked in and took over the market due to superior products. Until they grasp that fact there is no hope.

      1. Before I bought my first Apple product, an iPhone 4, I had the opportunity of handling a friend’s BlackBerry for an hour or so on a trial run. I don’t know what model it was, but since it was a corporate issued device I’d venture a guess that it was a Curve. My first impression with it was that it seemed stuck in the past with a trackball and a physical keyboard. Browsing the Internet was atrocious due a combination of a low resolution small screen and the difficulty of navigating a web page with a trackball.

        I had the opportunity of trying out the iPhone with a friend’s 3GS and it seemed sleek, futuristic, something a modern smartphone should be. I was hefting a HP Windows Mobile 6 phone at the time which was an absolute nightmare to use so I’ve had a gamut of experience with mobile phones. The iPhone stands heads and shoulders above the rest of the crowd.

        1. “Before I bought my first Apple product, an iPhone 4”

          Wow, and it seems like we’ve had to listen to your inane bullshit since the original iMac came out.

    2. Surely you’re been following the destructive habits of the RIM executives over the last few years? The recent events on the airline are manifestations of a greater problem with the culture at RIM. This latest stunt smacks of desperation from a company who is being run by junior executives as the upper echelon begins packing their chutes.

      The best thing to happen to RIM was to bust up that farce of an executive office. Joint (co-ceo’s) operations like this are replete with cults of personality and backchannel networks that covertly undermine the organization.

      Wake Up is the product of children let loose with adult toys. Result: juvenile tactics.

  2. RIM is circling the drain hole so fast now that the Mktg Director is terminally dizzy going faster around in those smaller & smaller circles.

    He told his equally confused minions “We have to wake up.” & the confused marketing ploy was thrown out of the bowl.

    1. Well, to be fair… there were some pretty targeted ads, showing up IBM and Microsoft in the 80s.

      Before YouTube, these kinds of stunts weren’t really practical as they didn’t have reach.

  3. Once again, RIM’s big marketing mistake is that of referencing Apple specifically.

    If RIM had resisted attempting to copy the iPad’s success with a lesser product, I believe more people would still be happily using their Blackberries, and the world would view RIM’s products and iOS devices as separate categories, each with their own benefits.
    But by attempting to ride on Apple’s tablet coattails, RIM opened themselves up to unfavourable comparison, ridicule, and the the resultant fallout.

    And again, if RIM had launched this WAKE UP campaign in completely neutral space (Sydney Harbour boat stunt was the right way to do it), instead of at the Apple Store, the public might have become curious about this campaign for its own sake, and been drawn in to the countdown to RIM’s new product.

    By abrading their campaign against Apple’s image, RIM has only succeeded in drawing unfavourable comparison, again.

    Is it really that hard for RIM’s marketing department to comprehend this?

    1. I’m just letting mine go… bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep….

  4. I’d like to apologize on behalf of all Canadians for Rim’s immoral and underhanded behavior. In Canada we have a long tradition of sportsmanship and fair play. Rim has decided to go against that tradition. In doing so, Rim has shamed all of Canada, and we are diminished. I am very, very sorry.

    1. One jackass in the marketing department and the handful of stuffed shirts that approved his asinine idea? We will not hold all of Canada responsible for such desperate tomfoolery just because of a few fools, especially since they are now selling pencils in a cup.

      1. Bad marketing is the rule across our planet in the current era.
        Feel thee not bad Canada for thy being equally so corrupted.

        ~~In my dreams~~
        ~~I see a customer revolt with torches and pitchforks~~
        ~~raiding every bad biznizz skool across the world~~
        ~~burning each to the ground~~
        ~~worthless MBA degrees turned to ash~~
        ~~Corporate Oligarchs swinging from the trees~~
        ~~political puppets strung up by their own strings~~
        ~~self-destructive CEOs dissolved in vats of acid~~
        ~~corporate welfare fascades flattened by bulldozers~~
        ~~I dream of quality capitalism being once again restored~~

        It could happen!

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