RIM's Marketing Is the Absolute Worst
Two weeks ago, a busload of protesters clad in black swarmed the window of an Australian Apple Store (AAPL). Video blogger Nate "Blunty" Burr was able to capture the flash mob fiasco as a megaphone-wielding firebrand whipped the crowd into a frenzy, leading them in a chant of "Wake up!" while holding up signs emblazoned with the phrase.
Given Samsung's decidedly anti-Apple marketing campaigns in recent months, tech blogs attributed the scene to just another stunt perpetrated by the Android (GOOG)-centric South Korean manufacturer. After all, it wasn't something we would put past them.
But Samsung subsequently denied being the company behind the stunt. In fact, the identity of the brand responsible underscores just how misguided, outdated, and ironic the whole ad campaign really is.
Because it was all orchestrated by RIM (RIMM) -- which has just launched the promotional "Wake Up!" website.
Yes, the company that makes Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows 7 Parties and Seinfeld-Gates teamups look like Don Draper-level strokes of genius has masterminded yet another truly awful ad campaign. We didn't think it could get any worse than its Amateur Hour Is Over tagline for the PlayBook or the BeBold Superhero Team -- such an instantaneous punchline that RIM immediately distanced itself from the graphic, calling it "just for fun."
But here we are.
Featuring Aussie narration, the new "Wake Up" website draws a line in the sand with iPhone users, boldly proclaiming that BlackBerry users "don't think different," they "do different." Adding, "You're either here to leave your mark and eat opportunity for breakfast, or you're satisfied to just float through life like a cork in the stream."
When we believed Samsung -- a company that recently surpassed Apple to become the world's number one smartphone manufacturer -- was behind the campaign, the "Wake Up" protest smacked more of needless cruelty than abject desperation. Now, after learning RIM -- a company that couldn't even crack the top five smartphone manufacturers in 2011 -- was behind it, the protest and accompanying website seem far more the latter.
However, there still might be hope for RIM's future marketing. After all, Microsoft went from those lame Kin ads to the delightfully entertaining commercials featuring Chris "Dr. Spaceman" Parnell hawking the Lumia 900. All it had to do was team up with Nokia (NOK) and rely on its marketing department.
So once RIM finds a company to save itself from logic-defying hubris and laughably terrible marketing, everything will be fine.
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