Motorola dupes consumers with unbranded campaign for Motoblur

Motorola has been revealed as the brand behind the creation of a fictional character who fooled people into believing that he was on a crusade to make friends.

Rob Multo, who launched a Facebook account and YouTube channel asking people to “be my friend” is part of an unbranded campaign created by Peer Group Media to promote Motorola’s new smart phones.

The name Rob Multo is actually an anagram of Motorola’s ‘Motorblur’ – the new social media functionality available on its Dext and Backflip handsets which it is launching in Australia.

It allows people to sync and automatically update emails and all their social media accounts such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter without having to log in each time.

It wasn’t until earlier today that “Multo” posted a video ironically denying growing speculation that he was representing a brand, as the Motorola logo is shown plastered all around him.

Soon after he posted a YouTube video link on his Facebook page admitting that he is promoting a brand and asking people to guess what it is in order to win the new product.

He currently has 2,611 fans on Facebook and has had 538 views on his YouTube channel.

However, some people on his Facebook page have already started to react negatively at being dumped into believing that Rob Multo was a real person.

One fan posted on his Facebook Wall:

Hmmm so it’s just all an act – man I am disappointed too. I honestly thought you were actually a legit Geek and little bit crazy ….. but you’re not real. Well aren’t we a bunch of gullible fools.”

While another said:

Nice anagram guys…… Oh look, it’s a new product from Motorola that updates everything at the same time! Very clever. Although, how many people are going to be pissed off that you guys weren’t honest from the start?”

The reveal coincided with Motoblur’s official unveiling today at an event held in Sydney hosted by Timo Brouwer, managing director for mobile devices at Motorola Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

Andrew Morley, Motorola VP international marketing said the creation of the Rob Multo character formed the teaser campaign for the launch of the main marketing push which will include TV, press, outdoor, online abnd radio ads created by Ogilvy Sydney.

Responding to potential backlash from consumers on the creation of the Rob Multo character, Morley told Mumbrella:

We’ve tried something new and different and we’ve been transparent about it, creating a fan page instead of a personal page on Facebook. With social media you need to try new things and interact in new ways and try to be innovative.

From an ethics perspective we didn’t pretend that this was anything other than entertainment and you can see that through the way Rob joked about how people thought he was attached to a brand.”

Adam Zammit, Peer Group CEO, added:

People have the option to opt out and it’s been growing fans even as we’ve launched today. It’s been a predominantly positive response to the character. And people have been guessing from the start. Most of the responses have been, ‘I don’t care, this guy is killing me’, because it’s a good story and it’s entertaining.”


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