BlackBerry’s ‘Wake Up’ campaign strategy labelled ‘pre-digital age’

Bondi Ice Bergs 'Wake up.' campaignThe strategy for BlackBerry’s teaser “Wake Up” campaign has been labelled 15 years out of date by the boss of a rival agency.

Speaking on this week’s Mumbrellacast, Mike Wilson, chairman of Naked Communications, praised the execution of the campaign but said the strategy was “pre-digital age”.

The Wake Up teaser campaign has seen a series of stunts with campaigners holding up placards outside the Apple Store, in the background crowd on Seven’s Sunrise and elsewhere. Paid media activity has focused on a website countdown.

The strategy is being led by Sydney based agency Tongue. Among Tongue’s management are former Naked staffers John Du Vernet and Jonathan Pease.

Wilson said on the podcast: “The actual tease activity… was very well executed and generated a lot of conversation. But where it falls down is that I don’t think it was particularly well constructed within a communication strategy framework. The notion you would go out with a load of messages get people talking and then not reveal for several weeks later to me is something you would have done in the pre-digital age.

“It’s the sort of thing you would have put together 10 or 15 years ago. I can see the block plan in the client presentation… the world doesn’t work like that any more.”

Although the countdown site is continuing, Blackberry conceded at the start of the week that it was behind the campaign after speculation linking it to other brands including Samsung and NAB. Meanwhile, Sydney hostel Wake Up has seen a fourfold increase in web traffic.

Wilson said: “Particularly if you’re working in the technology category you have to expect people are going to want to talk about it, push the message instantly. The notiuon you come out as a business and talk about your teaser before the reveal seems to me a bit incongruous.

Wilson’s comments on the campaign:


For this week’s Mumbrellacast click here


  1. Funny
    4 May 12
    1:25 pm

  2. Ha ha

  3. Bob
    4 May 12
    1:39 pm

  4. For a campaign that so many here call a “fail” it sure is getting a lot of attention, several articles alone just on this one site. and “pre digital age”: half a million youtube views in a week aren’t digital enough? ha ha ha.

  5. Seahorses
    4 May 12
    1:54 pm

  6. Someone’s jealous.

  7. rob
    4 May 12
    1:56 pm

  8. @Bob surely we all agree that attention and articles on this site count for nothing……we are dissecting the campaign, not being influenced by it. i laugh when people say “it’s got you all talking” because generally that’s the exact opposite effect these campaigns have on the 99.9% of people who aren’t in the industry, and go about their lives without a second thought to the activities of the self-important gits who are.

  9. wake up wilson
    4 May 12
    2:04 pm

  10. Ha ha. That’s weak commentary by Wilson. He continues to bag ex staffers. Pathetic

  11. Logic
    4 May 12
    2:13 pm

  12. It would be a huge success Bob if we deemed success on amounts of stories on a b2b site for people in media. But I assume RIM had grander expectations.

  13. David
    4 May 12
    2:18 pm

  14. Really classy to make a negative public comment on a competitor’s work.

  15. Fark up
    4 May 12
    2:26 pm

  16. Awareness for the poor execution of a strategy is not the same thing as awareness of the product.

  17. Dave
    4 May 12
    2:37 pm

  18. We were pulling stunts like this in London 1995, they usually involved alcohol and were innovative enough to create a positive response for brands with very limited budgets. This stuff however is cringe worthy and misses the point to say the least. On one hand you’ve a 2 hour show on TV last night underlining Apples intrinsic vision of style and function, on the other, a bunch of drop kicks screaming like school kids on a rainy day in Sydney. I’ve no doubt it’s got tongues wagging – and have no doubt that the team at Blackberry will look back at this, in the same way as I look back at photo’s of my bouffant hair in 1987. Heads (and their respective tongues) should roll.

  19. Bruce
    4 May 12
    4:11 pm

  20. Jonathan Pease strikes again. Witchery now this. As for Wilson making negative comments on Wake Up – wouldn’t think it’s needed.

  21. Me
    4 May 12
    4:58 pm

  22. Apple has 9% of handset market share, RIM less – battle of the light-weights.

  23. toby
    4 May 12
    6:26 pm

  24. Wow, this really is what makes our industry great. jealous much mike? I think your ‘strategy’ is showing!

  25. Mike
    5 May 12
    8:09 am

  26. How on earth can you make fun of the intelligence of your prospective customers and expect to be successful ?

    Yes it has received a lot of attention. But not the good kind.

  27. Mike
    5 May 12
    8:10 am

  28. @Me

    Apple also has > 90% of the profits from the mobile industry.

    Market share is not the most important metric.

  29. eurotrash
    5 May 12
    10:45 am

  30. Australia is generally a bit pre-digital though, isn’t it?

  31. LW
    5 May 12
    11:16 pm

  32. Oh absolutely, Eurotrash. But we’re hoping that once we get 24 hr power supply and someone can get some post-Amstrad computers into the country that we can be just as good as you. Someone told me about this thing called the Internet but I can’t see anything in my 1968 Encyclopaedia Brittanica about it – I think it may have been a joke!

  33. Me
    6 May 12
    8:47 am

  34. @Mike

    Yes, Apple do. And you don’t earn 90% of the profits by offering value for money.

    Apple’s ecosystem is about screwing the faithful for as much money as possible. Anything you can do on an Iphone you can do on something else better, cheaper or for free.

  35. Mike
    6 May 12
    3:52 pm

  36. @Me.

    You sound like you worked on the campaign.

    Telling people that they are being screwed over and are suckers who just need to ‘wake up’ and realise the alternatives has never worked. Ever.

  37. Me
    6 May 12
    7:27 pm

  38. @Mike

    Nah, I’m not industry – well, not your industry. (New Media journo, Australian, but make my bucks out of Holland.)

    I have an Android handset crippled to hell and back (security), loaded with opensource and ripped content/software. Rarely costs me more than $10 a month and the specs and functionality are far superior to an Iphone4S (with the added bonus of Apple not being able to track my every move, google UDID).

    I just hate watching people being conned into paying money for something they don’t need, or don’t need to pay for. But then, maybe your job is to convince them that they do?

  39. AdGrunt
    6 May 12
    10:24 pm

  40. Me, you appear to be comparing Apples and Oranges. Forgive the pun.

    You also appear to also be falling into the trap that you, your needs and your technical understanding, are anywhere near the mainstream.

    And what does your niche Android setup have to do with RIM and their terminal decline?

  41. Tom
    7 May 12
    9:53 am

  42. aah @ eurotrash.. yet another snippet from the legions of FILTH (Failed in London Try Here). Tired of hearing from you twats from the future who grace us with your presence. Roll on post LAHFA life. As for the campaign another over-hyped yawn gimmicky piece of pap that will never be meaningfully measured for it effect

  43. TJ
    7 May 12
    10:35 am

  44. From an outsiders perspective (I am not in the advertising industry), I am still a little confused about this one. I went to the website when there was just a countdown, and really wanted to find out more but there was no info available. I hit the site today and there is just an audio clip and words scrolling on the site. The only other info is on a Facebook page.

    Little strange that there is no product info on the site or any links to the RIM site at all. For a person like me that actually wants to know about their new products it seems to be really confusing.

  45. Me
    7 May 12
    11:38 am

  46. @AdGrunt

    Agree with everything you wrote.

    Which is why I devote a small amount of time each day trying to educate the mainstream that they don’t need to pay for most of what they pay for.

    Disgusts me to read about “bill shock,” which is MSM code for gouging. Apple turned people’s handsets into defacto credit-cards, hid the true costs and laughed their arses off all the way to bank. That’s their successful business model, nothing to do with innovation or service or functionality.