Apple protest video blogger Blunty admits he was in on BlackBerry ‘Wake Up’ stunt

Video blogger Nate “Blunty” Burr has admitted that he was in on a marketing stunt for BlackBerry when he shot a video of the “Wake Up” protest at Sydney’s Apple Store which has now gone viral.

Blunty – who is one of YouTube’s most subscribed Australian bloggers with more than 180m views to date – gave the impression in the video that he was at the George Street store by coincidence.

However, he has now admitted that he had signed a non disclosure agreement before the event and an agency working for BlackBerry’s parent company RIM had organised for him to be there. He insists he was not paid.

The Wake Up campaign – now revealed to have been masterminded by agency Tongue – raised intrigue when an ad went up on news websites on Anzac Day with a link to a countdown website. Mumbrella wrongly linked it to a similar countdown site in the UK for the Samsung Galaxy and embedded Blunty’s video after it featured  on the Bannerblog website.

In the video, Blunty told his viewers: “I was in the Apple Store having a poke around.” He claimed he had “stumbled across” a microphone accessory and decided to buy it and immediately try it out. “So I’m outside the store when… all of a sudden a big black bus pulls up, a bunch of people dressed in black pour out of bus with protest signs and they start screaming ‘Wake up’.

“I had my camera out, I was testing the microphone out and I thought ‘why not?’

He also claimed he was “kicked out” of the Apple Store.

Despite knowing the campaign had nothing to do with Apple, he suggested in the video “Perhaps its some form of guerrilla marketing for a new Siri feature.” Siri is the virtual assistant feature on the Apple iPhone.

The video – which has now accumulated nearly half a million views – was then picked up globally as Apple fan sites debated the relative merits of Samsung and Apple offerings.

On Monday, Samsung denied it was behind the campaign.

On Tuesday, BlackBerry confirmed it was behind the campaign after the website Mac Talk discovered code on the countdown site linking it to the brand.

On Wednesday Blunty uploaded a new video admitting he was in on the stunt.

He suggested that some of those who joined the debate were “colossal morons and trolls and backbiting little bitches.”

Addressing the question of how he had happened to be at the Apple Store, Blunty said “Rightly so – you should be suspicious.”

He described as “bullshit” a suggestion that he had previously worked for BlackBerry.

“Yes I was involved in it. No I wasn’t paid to be a shill for Blackberry. They came to me about a week before the whole thing kicked off and said ‘Sign this NDA’…

“I wasn’t sent out to spread any particular message. All they wanted was exposure and that’s why they tipped me off.

“It’s working because they’ve got a whole lot of attention now.”

He also contradicted a couple of claims he made in the first video. Rather than stumbling upon the microphone, he said he had intended to go to the store to get it anyway. And he said that he was not in fact kicked out of the store.

He added: “I never lied. I never claimed I was there by coincidence.”

“If you think I’m a shill for BlackBerry, so be it… and you can bugger off.”

Comments


  1. Interesting
    2 May 12
    7:19 am

  2. Reminds me of a girl who saw a guy in a jacket and denied it was a marketing stunt.

  3. Woody
    2 May 12
    8:40 am

  4. Whoa!! Bombshell!!

  5. Mike
    2 May 12
    8:41 am

  6. He wasn’t paid ? As if that is the only way to be compensated.

    What a hack.

  7. Andrew Bolt & Gina Rineharts Lovechild
    2 May 12
    8:59 am

  8. NDA’s and payments never go hand in hand…

  9. Pear
    2 May 12
    9:16 am

  10. Still can’t see why they started the campaign outside the market leader surely there is somewhere more exciting – reckon it gave Apple more credibility.
    Like it or not Apple is the currency

  11. Xander
    2 May 12
    9:35 am

  12. Pardon me, sir, could you spare a cup of credibility? I seem to have run out… :-/

  13. Non Creative
    2 May 12
    9:38 am

  14. Wow both Blunty and Tongue have lost all credibility.

    And to Blunty’s point about not being paid, not all payment needs to be in cash. You may wish to clarify that statement as well.

  15. Mog
    2 May 12
    10:09 am

  16. That is 3:04 minutes I will never get back…

  17. The Doc
    2 May 12
    10:35 am

  18. That Nate guy is easily one of the biggest tools on the internet today. I find it impossible to believe he wasn’t paid. “Colossal morons and trolls and backbiting little bitches”. I assume he means the people who were entirely accurate about him lying regarding just “accidentally” seeing a protest.

  19. Erik Veland
    2 May 12
    10:36 am

  20. Pretty sad how he’s so tangled in his lies that he contradicts himself several times within the same piece. What a mess.

  21. sean
    2 May 12
    10:51 am

  22. Who cares if he was paid or not and what does it matter really it was a advertising stunt that worked…I dunno why you are all so upset.So advertising has never lied before you are all acting like its the first time .its like politicans you can never trust anything that comes out of there mouths gee they lied well theirs a shock…

  23. Logic
    2 May 12
    10:53 am

  24. this guy and his ranting could cause a monk to go postal. wow.

  25. rob
    2 May 12
    11:10 am

  26. was this campaign orchestrated by ex-Labor party strategists?

  27. Miss fire
    2 May 12
    11:39 am

  28. Seems to me that all Blunty and his mates at Tongue have succeeded in doing is some guerrilla advertising for Apple, who must be laughing their heads off.

  29. Peter Wells
    2 May 12
    11:41 am

  30. Please note on both MacTalk and MacWorld I said that Blunty had “worked with” RIM in the past, not that he had “worked for” them. I consider the videos he did around the launch of the Playbook to be PR videos that me made “with” Blackberry. From his own video description on Youtube:

    “RIM have tasked Blunty3000 with digging into the capabilities of their new tablet device, the Blackberry Playbook…

    To find out more about the BlackBerry PlayBook please visit: http://bit.ly/BBPlayBookAU

    I never said he was an employee of RIM. More of, to use his own words, a shill…

  31. huh?
    2 May 12
    12:33 pm

  32. i dont understand how a campaign can be deemed successful in any form or manner if the initial thoughts are of 2 major competitors. credibility for all parties involved in the campaign would surely be wavering… I’m guessing there is a lot ‘self back patting’ going on. Or am i completely wrong?

  33. OldSchool
    2 May 12
    1:30 pm

  34. How embarrassing! The North Korea of the telecoms world!

  35. maccers
    2 May 12
    1:32 pm

  36. KFC claim you can’t beat that taste. I’m betting you can.

  37. Kyle
    2 May 12
    1:38 pm

  38. If only they had a viable product or brand to follow this up with…

  39. Anonymous
    2 May 12
    1:40 pm

  40. This Blunty dude seems like a tool… the only person who is flipping out is him… and he’s flipping out in a video… someone get him a straight jacket!… get over yourself mate

  41. Adam Paull
    2 May 12
    1:45 pm

  42. Whoever is running RIM these days needs to follow their slogan’s advice…

  43. Rick2
    2 May 12
    1:46 pm

  44. “Perplexment” must be a word that is exclusively found in the Blunty dictionary..

  45. Andrew
    2 May 12
    1:49 pm

  46. A boring campaign. Why target the store, they should be targeting consumers to wake up – that’s the essence of their message. I bet all these actors were tweeting via their iPhones on the ride home…

  47. Barkeep
    2 May 12
    2:25 pm

  48. Blunty might not have been paid but any credibilty got RIM’ed.

  49. Matt
    2 May 12
    3:09 pm

  50. Crazy idea for RIM – maybe they should bring out some new products that consumers want to buy?
    Remember when having a Blackberry was actually cool? (sorry, showing my age…)

  51. Red
    2 May 12
    3:11 pm

  52. @huh? That’s exactly what I was thinking, Samsung get attributed with it and nobody corrects this spreading misconception for days. Blackberry put their hand up and it deflates the campaign and nobody cares. As per articles in the last couple of days it has made no impact on Apple’s brand, I am not sure they even care. As for Blunty he may not have received cash from BB but half a million people now know who he is when not many would have cared last week. Whether you like him or not he is the winner and now has an opportunity in front of him.

  53. Logic
    2 May 12
    3:15 pm

  54. nice use of the term ‘retarded’ too … urrgh such a fail.

  55. Hoin
    2 May 12
    3:44 pm

  56. RIM? The gay community could tell you what that is and it is a perfect synonym for this mob.

  57. Reevesy
    2 May 12
    3:46 pm

  58. Wired just posted this link to a Blackberry product release
    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab.....ckberry-10

  59. DaveReporter
    2 May 12
    4:01 pm

  60. Somehow I don’t see that stunts are going to get RIM much market share. Like or dislike Apple products – they currently “own” cool.

  61. Offal Spokesperson
    2 May 12
    4:57 pm

  62. Good Ad for Apple

  63. slippery pete
    2 May 12
    5:05 pm

  64. nice RIM job Tongue

  65. janice joplin
    2 May 12
    7:50 pm

  66. my god that was boring.

  67. jc
    7 May 12
    11:00 am

  68. care factor – 0