The stunt, which saw dozens of black-clothed people arrive outside the Sydney store in a coach bus and wave “Wake up” signs at Apple customers inside the shop, drew criticism in the blogosphere as an “embarrassing” marketing attempt.
A number of tech-focused websites first pointed the finger at Samsung, the smartphone company known for its Apple-targeted campaigns. But Samsung denied their role in the guerrilla marketing campaign.
MacWorld Australia revealed on April 29 that they found a Double Click URL on a ‘Wake Up’ webpage that had ties to RIM Australia.
The Waterloo-based company issued a statement Monday evening taking ownership for the protest. The campaign is said to be part of RIM’s promotion for BlackBerry OS 10, the company’s next major release of the BlackBerry operating system.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
The stunt comes at a difficult time for the BlackBerry maker. A recent Ipsos Reid poll found that BlackBerry’s share of the Canadian smartphone market fell to 33 per cent this January, down from 41 per cent a year earlier.
Though RIM has been criticized for last week’s anti-Apple flashmob, Toronto-based social media strategist Patrick Gladney said the marketing ploy was a success in that it garnered widespread attention.
“The strategy was successful in getting peoples’ attention, which is probably what they hoped to accomplish anyway,” said Gladney, director research and insights for Social Media Group.
“I think it’s interesting the way they’re trying to leverage off of Apple’s brand equity to disrupt peoples’ attention,” he added. “For a company that has been suffering from certain challenges, they’re going to need to do things differently in a way that captures peoples’ attention.”
The company released a sneak peak of its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system at a conference in Florida on Tuesday.