BlackBerry Wake Up campaign switches to targeting people who ‘mean business’

Wake up countdown

Countdown site: Now complete

BlackBerry’s much talked about teaser campaign today moved into the reveal stage with its heavily promoted countdown website linking to a new URL called Wake Up. Be Bold.

The campaign has been backed by experiential activities in cities including Sydney and Melbourne featuring Wake Up signage and a flash mob of protesters chanting and holding up banners outside the Apple Store.

The site now features a scrolling message and voiceover telling people it’s time to “wake up and mean business”.

The message tells users:

“Wake up.

“It’s time to mean business.

“Now before you go looking for your suit and briefcase, we’re not talking about that kind of business.

“Business is no longer just a suit-wearing, cubicle-sitting, card-carrying kind of pursuit.

“These days being ‘in business’ means you’re the kind of person who takes action and makes things happen.

“You don’t just think different… you do different.

“It’s a simple choice:

“You’re either here to leave your mark and eat opportunity for breakfast


“You’re satisfied to just float through life like a cork in a stream.

“Now, we know some people will choose to float on by and that’s fine.

“Being in business is not for everyone, but unfortunately… there is no middle ground.

“You’re either in business or you’re not.

“For those of us with our eyes wide open, we need to realise there’s only one device for people who mean business… the brand that’s been in business from the very beginning.

“Wake Up. Be Bold.


As Mumbrella has previously reported, the campaign is being driven by ex-Vodafone and Xbox marketer Matthew Ball, who is ten months into his role as ANZ marketing director of BlacvBerry’s parent company Research In Motion.

Tongue took the strategic lead for ‘Wake up’, Starcom handled media, while Amnesia Razorfish did digital. Frank PR handled consumer PR while Spectrum Communications handled trade public relations.

Last week, Naked chairman Mike Wilson described the strategy behind the campaign as “pre digital age“. Controversially, it emerged that BlackBerry recruited video blogger Nate ‘Blunty’ Burr to cover the Apple Store stunt although he did not disclose this when he uploaded his video, which went viral.


  1. Cam Smith
    7 May 12
    11:45 am

  2. “Business is no longer just a suit-wearing, cubicle-sitting, card-carrying kind of pursuit.
    “These days being ‘in business’ means you’re the kind of person who takes action and makes things happen.”

    Is RIM finally directly targeting their real market – rioting chavs?

  3. richie
    7 May 12
    11:53 am

  4. hahahahahahha, god i hope they paid a lot for this campaign! It is on brand though: totally uninspired, unintuitive, doesn’t work well with other components, and has no appeal to business or consumers.

  5. Simon A
    7 May 12
    11:59 am

  6. “Flash mob”….as usual Blackberry about 2 years too late!

  7. The Internetz
    7 May 12
    12:35 pm

  8. That video left me feeling decidedly….uninspired.

  9. Tim
    7 May 12
    1:09 pm

  10. They say nothing kills a bad product faster than great advertising, but thankfully – I reckon the campaign matches the product perfectly here. If it can’t tell me why I should buy a blackberry over any other smart phone, it’s the video equivalent of a white flag waving.

  11. rob
    7 May 12
    1:20 pm

  12. the v/o sounds like a placeholder recorded by an intern for the client meeting…..all you need to do is see and hear the top notch production values on all Apple marcoms and the difference with these guys is very apparent.

    you can’t deliver a worthy idea and message (albeit misguided in the first place) with shite production values.

  13. Astro
    7 May 12
    1:25 pm

  14. One word: Embarrassing.

  15. richie
    7 May 12
    1:34 pm

  16. oh Amnesia Razorfish, i used to have so much respect for you! If anyone has the interest, flip open the source of that web page and get ready to keep laughing!

  17. Hunch
    7 May 12
    1:42 pm

  18. The v/o sounds like JP from Tongue….anyone confirm?

  19. simon lawson
    7 May 12
    1:56 pm

  20. I don’t understand this campaign.

    It goes outs of its way to insult its target audience (Wake up iPhone users) and then provides no concrete reasons as to why Blackberry is a viable alternative to iPhone.

    Is there a new Blackberry product that matches iPhone? What does it look like? Why is it better?

  21. Dave
    7 May 12
    2:08 pm

  22. oh my god…..

    I am usually the first one on here to go off at commenters for being to harsh on their industry colleagues.

    But this?

    This is just crap! Seriously?!

    If you are going to do a circa 2005 teaser campaign, then don’t disappoint the audience when it finally gets there. The ad talks about ‘Waking Up’ and ‘Being Bold’ but the delivery of it (including the voiceover) was enough to put most viewers into a coma.

    And the message that you have to use Blackberry if you mean business. Please. Hope this is the final nail in the Blackberry coffin.

  23. mike was right
    7 May 12
    2:10 pm

  24. yep

  25. Josh
    7 May 12
    2:23 pm

  26. Disappointing campaign, really doesn’t make sense, yes it is creating some noise, but for what?

    Does not show any promise that Blackberry will recover.

  27. Tony Richardson
    7 May 12
    2:30 pm

  28. I’m with Dave (Comment 10). I try to be positive … but this campaign is terrible.

    Even to my 100 year old eyes it looks dated!

  29. Karina
    7 May 12
    2:30 pm

  30. It’s so awkward to watch and listen… It really looks like a ’90s Year 1 Uni assignment.. It’s a shame that Blackberry chose this path. I think it would have been smarter to learn what their colleagues in Argentina or Brazil are doing for example – in those countries everyone uses Blackberry for work and personal. Very strong brand presence because they have better service and better deals than their competitors…

  31. Brett Ramsey
    7 May 12
    2:38 pm

  32. Yeah, Apple’s “Think Different” campaign was years ago, how many people will even remember the reference. It’s like “we know we’re getting stomped by Apple so we’ll try to run an Apple type ad campaign”
    Of course it fails to even address the whole “Android” thing. I mean that’s pretty popular too I’ve heard.
    Never mind. I’m sure some other middle aged men out there will find it very “cutting edge” who knows it may even go “viral” whatever that means.
    But it’s a good thing right?

  33. Devil's advocaat
    7 May 12
    2:43 pm

  34. “Think different” is a nice reference to Apple’s previous advertising?

    But I think this great ad does the job of pointing out that Blackberries do email and nothing else so can only be used for business.

    Hoping not to be too boring but unfortunately it is true that ….


    Used to signify a well paid city worker with important emails.

    Now signifies a less well paid city worker whose boss won’t get them an iPhone.

  35. Matt
    7 May 12
    2:56 pm

  36. That voiceover is quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever heard.
    It doesn’t seem even close to being professionally produced, doesn’t sound like someone that is even “in business” as they put it.

  37. Danon
    7 May 12
    3:16 pm

  38. I just don’t understand the thinking. Why picket the Apple Store if your audience is business people? Why link from the campaign page to a Facebook page, which is very un-business like? Why are you patronising me about what it means to be in business? Why bother at all when Bring Your Own Device is clearly the way forward?

  39. Phil
    7 May 12
    3:20 pm

  40. Does anyone else feel like punching the voice-over right in his voice box!?

  41. Nat
    7 May 12
    4:02 pm

  42. Is the pre-roll and expandable MREC annoying anyone else…..

    I kind of get it. That Blackberry is for more serious business people but they don’t mean the boring business people. Maybe? Or am i wrong.

    I have an iphone and i am very serious about business. I wouldn’t change.

  43. Jack B. Nimble
    7 May 12
    4:05 pm

  44. My God, what an awful cringe-worthy voice-over!!!

  45. Rawnocerous
    7 May 12
    4:06 pm

  46. Absolute muppets. Poor strategy, poor execution.

  47. JA
    7 May 12
    4:17 pm

  48. Terrible execution…
    The VO not only sounds horrid, but it doesn’t even keep up with the text which distracted me the whole clip…..

  49. Cameron
    7 May 12
    5:13 pm

  50. urgh. another epic fail from RIM.

  51. Anonymous
    7 May 12
    5:40 pm

  52. I can believe I wasted time on this. Not only is the flash mob old school, but so is the use of the “flash intro” – I was waiting for the site to load and for me to actually see product on the site – but No, there is nothing on the site.

  53. Matt
    7 May 12
    5:51 pm

  54. I’m pretty damn sure the VO is none other than Jonathan Pease himself. The ‘Executive Ideas Director’ at the agency responsible for this tripe.

  55. Ben
    7 May 12
    6:52 pm

  56. Sounds like its blackberry that has woken up, two or three years too late.

  57. M Sorrel
    7 May 12
    8:37 pm

  58. Rimmed

  59. LW
    7 May 12
    8:47 pm

  60. It’s so 1984. Not the Apple ad, not the book, but the actual year.

  61. V O
    7 May 12
    9:47 pm

  62. Yep it’s ‘JP’. Great salesman…..

  63. Me
    8 May 12
    9:29 am

  64. I thought you were all being bitchy industry people.

    Then I bothered listening to the voice over. OMFG, they should weaponise it, cops could use it for crowd control.

    How much would that travesty have earned its creators?

  65. Me
    8 May 12
    9:42 am

  66. Walked away from computer, then realised maybe I should be in advertising if this mob are getting work. Completely off-topic, but here’s a concept:

    – King Kong is rampaging through a city, being especially spiteful, knocking over the odd building.

    – He comes across a brewery and proceeds to down a few vats of beer.

    – Our protagonist takes to the streets again and starts crushing cars against his head like some idiot drunk crushes beer cans.

    – He picks up the client’s car and knocks himself out with it. The car won’t crush, it’s tough and safe and unscathed. The car falls to the ground with the giant gorilla and speeds off.

    Sounds expensive, but you could prob. do it cheap with some crappy 3D or stop-motion animation and the idea would still hold. Right, I need more coffee.

  67. anon
    8 May 12
    10:12 am

  68. Five agencies and not one stopped this?

  69. Glenn Urquhart
    8 May 12
    1:03 pm

  70. Wow. This is unbelievably bad copy. Just awful. Embarrassing.

  71. aneek
    8 May 12
    1:16 pm

  72. a teaser which puts you to sleep – and probably a campaign as boring as the brand to follow!

  73. Not a fan
    8 May 12
    5:53 pm

  74. Surely they could have afforded a professional VO artist?
    I mean, Jonathan Pease, really?
    This is awful to the extreme.

  75. version
    10 May 12
    4:14 pm

  76. This just interrupted my playlist on Youtube.

    Voice-over is horrific.

  77. haha-nielson
    18 May 12
    10:48 am

  78. “You’re either in business or you’re not.”

    you are right, I am not in your business.