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RIM’s Wake Up is a mini-manifesto

'Do different', outside the middle, or something

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RIM’s controversial attempt to Wake Up Australia to the wonders of its products has been revealed.

The old Wake Up Australia site now refers viewers to the new wakeupbebold.com.au site, where a Rorschach blot (which looks a bit like the very NSFW Stannis-as-killer-ghost-thing from Game of Thrones) coagulates into a scrolling screed.

The manifesto starts with:

“Wake up. It’s time to mean business.

We think that means RIM make business phones, not those bird-flinging fripperies that have more market share. Next comes this slab of text:

“Now before you go looking for your suit and briefcase, we’re not talking about that kind of business. Business is no longer just a suit-wearing, cubicle-sitting, card-carrying kind of pursuit.

We think that means “Attention hip young entrepreneur with a MacBook air, thick-rimmed spectacles and a Crumpler – we’re the phone for you!” You may still need a card, though, 'cos Bump doesn't run on BlackBerry.

The manifesto continues:

“These days being ‘in business’ means you’re the kind of person who takes action and makes things happen. You don’t just think different… you do different. It’s a simple choice: You’re either here to leave your mark and eat opportunity for breakfast OR You’re satisfied to just float through life like a cork in a stream. Now, we know some people will choose to float on by and that’s fine.

Our reading of that passage is a cry of frustration at the fact that Apple has five trillion customers and more cash than all of Europe, but still manages to have some kind of counter-cultural cool that makes iPhone owners feel special even when they join the herd. RIM wants some of that cool and tries to get it with this continuation:

“Being in business is not for everyone, but unfortunately… there is no middle ground. You’re either in business or you’re not.

Actually, in Australia, there’s a massive middle ground because the majority of small businesses, as defined here, don’t employ anyone. Hundreds of thousands of freelancers and contractors are counted as a business and have many of the same tax obligations as businesses but aren’t really businesses in the sense that they don't aspire to create lasting value. But we’re holding you back from the conclusion, to whit:

“For those of us with our eyes wide open, we need to realise there’s only one device for people who mean business… the brand that’s been in business from the very beginning. Wake Up. Be Bold. BlackBerry.”

Does this mean that we should all remember the time when BlackBerries were better than other phones. Ignore the fact that even a nasty $99 prepaid Android handset does email pretty well these days. And the fact that there was a time when the ZX81 was better than other computers.

Mumbrella reports that a senior marketing bod has declared this whole campaign about 15 years off the pace. Given the ads don't appear to have a call to action so you can actually buy a BlackBerry, that opinion seems sensible. BlackBerry's Australian Australia and New Zealand Facebook page hasn't been updated since Saturday.

But who are we to judge? We wrote this. You're reading it. Something's working. ®

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