CrackBerry Asks: What do you think of BlackBerry Australia's Wake Up marketing campaign?

By Kevin Michaluk on 11 May 2012 11:53 am EDT
 Wake Up. Be Bold.

Yesterday evening I was speaking to a colleague of mine who said, "Kevin... you need to do something to get BlackBerry to stop this Wake Up campaign. It's horrendous." In case you missed it, you can check out the Wake Up website here.

I told him that it was a regional marketing campaign -- targeting the Australian market -- so even though I also wasn't a fan of the Wake Up slogan, that it probably wasn't that big of a deal to get bent out of shape over. BlackBerry has their global brand building campaigns, and they also have their regional advertising campaigns that they target to local customs and culture.  

From there we debated back and forth over it. The conclusion we reached was that we now live in a such a connected world that even regional marketing campaigns aimed at reaching a small and distinct audience have the ability to reach and impact eyeballs around the globe. And this is exactly what we saw happen with the Wake Up campaign. I'm not sure if the campaign has been successful in Australia so far, but I do know that in other markets and around the interwebz (where even regional is viewed as global) it's definitely coming across as a miss with a lot of people. And that's not good.

So what to do about it? RIM has a newly appointed CMO this week... addressing this can be one of the first items on the to do list. 

Reader comments

CrackBerry Asks: What do you think of BlackBerry Australia's Wake Up marketing campaign?


I thought iMore guys said it best (Episode 292 of iPhone & iPad Live). IIRC, they said why would try to attract potential customers onto your platform by yelling at them and calling them sheep.

Could have closed up the comments after this post. What makes matters worse is, what are you (RIM/Blackberry) telling people to "wake up" to? BBOS 7?!


This "wake up" campaign would have been GREAT if BB10 was coming out like next month or something... you know, build the hype, etc etc but now? Very bad timing. I'm going to file this fiasco under "...because there was no CMO at the time"

According to the vote about 18% of crackberry readers are iFans, well the whole crackberry team are iFans so i guess that's to be expected.

Genius or Horrible. It has received a lot of press.
- All publicity is good, except an obituary notice.
Brendan Behan

I agree that the condescending tone of saying "Wake Up" can be a negative, but I agree with the message. The term "business" is occurring more and more outside of the office and what better device to take advantage of this shift than with a Blackberry! So Wake UP! lol

Living Bold-ly!

But Wake Up might be fine in Australia. Something that works in Australia might not work in North America and vice versa.

Mocking your competition, by extension, mocks your potential customers. If you're hoping to convince these potential customers to ditch their current device and switch, perhaps making fun of them isn't the best approach. Negative ad campaigns just end up splashing mud back onto your own face. RIM has been ripped apart for these ads by tech writers, and rightfully so. It's an embarrassment. Tell the world how great YOUR device is, not how bad the others are, and how stupid people are for using them.

so what Apple has been doing since the early 80s combined with all of the Mac vs Windows ads threw mud back onto their own faces? I'm pretty sure most of those ads were well received.

That website became annoying very quickly.

"Business", while important, was over stated, and because a redundant spoken word.

It's just scrolling text with a voice-over. Zzzzz...

I don't mind the point BB is trying to get across. But the delivery was bad. I haven't been pleased with any of RIM's adversing campaigns to be honest.

I really didn't want to vote on this one. The reason being that what resonates with people on one part of the planet, may not sit well with people on another part. The Aussies are a long way from here (Canada) and I think RIM's marketing people down there are in a much better position to determine what will and what won't work with their particular audience.
That said, my own personal opinion is that it started beautifully and then fizzled badly at the end. I would have preferred if that particular marketing stunt had been saved for the initial release of the BB10 phones. But it's all hindsight now, so no real point in second guessing, right.

The competition, and the average consumer are way too simple for this campaign. Yet Apple literally takes advantage of people (they're a common, every-day name like Kleenex now) and no one reacts the way they've reacted about this Wake Up campaign. It's amazing how people think they're being taken advantage of or mocked in some ways, yet not in others.

Some people don't like it because it's not polite or they're scared of

This was meant for Australians...not for uptight North Americans

I recently saw an Australian Ford commercial where two frogs (not real) on a road are talking and way-off in the distance a car was approaching,...long story short, one frog is run over right in front of our eyes....this would never play on North American tvs

An Aussie here giving my perspective

I feel the wake up tag line might have come about due to all the press the "new" iPad received locally, and Apple advertising that it was enabled for 4G.

This lead the Australian consumer and competition commission to file a legal injunction against apple for false advertising, as the device actually wasn't compatible with any of the 4G frequencies that the local telco's use.

The wake up tag line might have been an effort to break the "zombie upgrade device cycle" that so many other markets also experience with apple devices and users, with a much more direct verbal spray.

It will work on some consumers, but the majority will simply ignore it.

I wouldn't expect this to be Rim's approach for bb10 release in aus, and bb 7 sales couldn't get any worse here, so I guess they thought 'why the hell not'.

Thanks for your input; I was just about to comment on the situational possibilities of the campaign possibly working in Australia, due to region-specific circumstances, but you covered all that really well.

It's a bad move that RIM made, if they are already a smaller mobile phone market in Australia. Also, if you look at the rebranding of some American corporations (WAL*MART to Walmart and AT&T to at&t), you'll see that the ALL CAPS marketing is out of style and slowly dying; this applies internationally, I would imagine. (With monopolies being a possible exception.)

All told, chalk this one up as a swing and a miss.

If they would have released a 4g playbook at the end of the timer it would have been brilliant. Then again if apple had done this it would have been brilliant.

Ads are not meant for everyone around the world. It's good to see comments from the target audience, the Auzzies. Good on ya! North Americans at times have delicate tummies

I love the idea of Wake up! people...don't get an iPhone just because others are getting an iPhone. Wake up BlackBerry phones are dynamic communication devices.

It should have waited. I like it, but it's too early. Feels a little Nokia-ish, as well. It just shouldn't have happened until closer to the launch of BB10.

That IS THE WORST ad I have Ever seen. It's slow, old tired, and says NOTHING of what is great about BlackBerry. The marketing dude that came up with that ad works for Apple and should be fired on the spot. WTF?!?!?!.

That was my initial reaction. After watching it and looking at the overall campaign I would have to say my first impression has not changed.

The idea of a 'Wake Up' campaign is a good concept but come on, there are a hundred and one better implementation ideas that would have worked instead of this.

I kind of like the campaign BUT, they should have done it globally when BB10 comes out.

The world HAS turned into zombies regarding Apple products, and it needs something dramatic to get attention, but there's no point in doing that now. A total waste of a potentially good campaign.

I thought it was odd, but wondered if there was a different meaning locally. We need to bear from more Aussies. Think how a movie, song, political statement instantly enters the cultural humor and takes on a different meaning. The term Wake Up" could easily contain inside meaning or humor not intended for the U.S. market.

I thought it was childish and meaningless. Most people I heard talk about it wondered what they were supposed to be aware of. Then for the countdown clock to appear - and just count down to an ad? Pathetic.

I'm in Sydney .... The ad SUCKS!

The expression 'wake up' is patronising and an immediate turn off!

How dare someone assume I'm asleep!

It's about time!

Upshot, Kevin didn't like it either, but wrote it off as regional. Swing and a miss, Kev. You don't hire someone to film it for youtube, work it for maximum worldwide viral, then use the BBWorld event to coincide with the timing for maximum coverage. This is not local. This is worldwide marketing.

If they want to improve sell through here in Australia, where the iPhone is king, they will have to be more competitive with pricing.

It's waaaaay cheaper to get hooked up on an iPhone, I love my keyboard so I have a 9900, but boy do I pay for it.

All my corporate friends and family are either being given iPhones/iPads at work to.

So in a nut shell, cheaper plans and not leaving us to wait 6 months after launch for latest model to roll out. There's a big difference between being a premium brand and clearly pricing yourself out of a market you quite clearly wish to capture.

An avid BB addict who usually sees everything BB I have not even seen the ad. If BB wants to spend money on advertising here they need to do better than that.

Wow, I feel as if I was in an @ppl3 website.

Have any of you ever sit down at a $tarbuck$ and notice how other ppl stare at you weird phone with the tiny screen, or your "funny" looking tablet. Ever walk into Radio Shack just to hear the guy say: "you are the one buying that stuff..."

I have.

It takes a certain breed to use and walk around with a blackberry on your hands.

It takes a certain publicity to attract such breed.

It takes balls to love BlackBerry.

Else, we should all switch to crapple.


P.S. Berries forever...

Ironic, in that BBM was the communication of choice during the London Riots last summer among rioters . It's is also the communication of choice for OWS. BlackBerry seems to be the favorite platform of CEOs and anarchists. I wonder if BlackBerry was aware of this when they staged their own riot in Australia. At least they didn't wear Anonymous Masks.

Seducing is always more effective than threatening ,as far as advertising goes. That's how Apple, FB ,Instagram and Google quietly violate your privacy and sell your data.

At the end of the day, we are not all Australians...There is a reason this stratagy works down under.
I think its brilliant...even thought its not. 'Canadian polite', its still sweet.

Come on RIM, just give up the Aussie.... save your marketing $$$$

Get some native Chinese app like QQ instant messaging done, get chinese hand writing input method,,,, 1/10 of Chinese market is way better than you own the whole Aus + NZ...