BlackBerry maker RIM’s Wake Up silence leaves only unanswered questions

By Patrick Avenell

It’s been three weeks since Research In Motion, manufacturer of BlackBerry devices, launched its Wake Up campaign. Part of that campaign was a countdown to a reveal, which matured on Monday this week.

This campaign was heavily criticised in the media — unfairly, according to this reporter — yet many questions still remain about the campaign, its execution and its value to the smartphone and tablet vendor.

Current.com.au’s requests this week for an interview with a suitable Australian Research In Motion representative were rejected. In lieu of a proper interview, we sent a list of questions to Research In Motion, with the opportunity for the company to provide considered responses in an email. That approach was also denied.

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So far, the only correspondence RIM will provide on the matter is the following statement:

“BlackBerry launched an integrated marketing and advertising brand campaign in Australia to provoke conversation on what 'being in business' means to Australians. A wide range of activities have taken place during the teaser portion of the campaign. Images and videos are available upon request. Today the campaign is entering a new phase as it unveils a manifesto based on what 'being in business' really means to Australians.”

Here are the questions I sent Research In Motion:

-Overall, is RIM happy with how the Wake Up campaign played out between the initial teaser campaign and the eventual reveal?

-There’s some confusion over who this campaign was targeting: is it a return for RIM to its enterprise roots or another attempt to energise the general consumer market?

-Some of the criticism of this campaign has been vicious — does RIM have any regrets about any elements of this campaign?

-The guerrilla aspect of Wake Up has been described variously as being like ‘Gabbo’ from The Simpsons and “pre-digital” — do you think the mystery aspect of this campaign was out of touch with the modern consumer? Are consumers less willing to accept an element of mystery from marketers?

-Did the constant association of this campaign with Samsung hurt RIM vicariously? What was RIM’s reaction to stories on popular websites incorrectly attributing the campaign to Samsung?

-Does RIM agree with my assertion that media types intentionally set out to vilify this campaign to disguise their own inaccuracies in attributing the campaign to Samsung?

-Has there been any noticeable uplift in business since the Wake Up campaign commenced?

-As a journalist who follows what RIM is up to very closely, I was surprised that the campaign did not end with a new product release or the actual launch of new software (as opposed to a developer release) — was it a mistake to invest so heavily in a campaign without a new product to attract consumers?

-Can RIM please provide five reasons, without using any buzzwords, why a businessperson should be using a BlackBerry instead of any other device?

-How exactly does one eat opportunity for breakfast? And if they’ve eaten it, are they not forfeiting it? Can one truly have their opportunity and eat it too?

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