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RIM outed as culprit in Australian Apple Store stunt

BlackBerry maker's flash mob urged Apple users to "Wake up."

Hooboy. And you thought Research In Motion couldn’t possibly attract more scorn on the web. Sure, it’s no drunken airplane ride, but RIM is now being roundly ridiculed for a marketing stunt by the company’s Australian division.

Last week, a video was posted by an Aussie tech blogger named “Blunty” that showed a black bus pull up to a Sydney Apple Store and dispense a crowd of protester types holding up placards telling anybody within ear- and eye-shot to “Wake up.” It was all a bit mysterious—many suggested Samsung, who’s made a habit of calling out Apple fanboys in recent ads, was behind it—until some enterprising folks traced the Wake Up website back to RIM. Cue the flood of OH-THE-IRONY comments hitting the tech blogosphere.

“[This is like] the loser of the class trying to change his status by going after the popular kid instead of getting rid of the tape on his glasses and removing his pen holder.”

“Priceless. Just priceless. The company that’s been asleep for the last decade telling Apple users to wake up.”

All that and it was done with a flash mob, the marketing equivalent of your IT guy in an Ed Hardy shirt. Today, the company issued a statement through its local agency responsible for the campaign, Spectrum Communications. “We can confirm that the Australian ‘Wake Up’ campaign, which involves a series of experiential activities taking place across Sydney and Melbourne, was created by RIM Australia. A reveal will take place on May 7th that will aim to provoke conversation on what ‘being in business’ means to Australians.”