“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.”