Apple’s frenemy Samsung went on the record to deny speculation that it was behind a flashmob-style anti-Apple protest that occurred ’spontaneously’ outside Apple’s retail outlet in Sydney, Australia. More precisely, a spokesperson for Samsung said their Australian branch had nothing to do with the stunt.
But the curiously ambiguous response leaves open the possibility of Samsung of South Korea or any of their regional offices hiring a creative shop to stage the protest. Before you jump straight to the comments, know this…
As we reported yesterday, a group of black-clad individuals carrying the ‘Wake Up’ signs paraded outside Apple’s retail store in Sydney, Australia. Also, a series of billboards were spotted around the city and the ‘Wake Up’ sign was written on the bottom of Bondi Ice Bergs’ pool.
A spokesperson for the South Korean consumer electronics giant denied involvement in the fuss, telling SlashGear:
Samsung Electronics Australia has nothing to do with the ‘Wake-Up campaign.
Some commenters chastised me yesterday over pointing the blame at Samsung, arguing the headline was misleading because it suggested Samsung’s involvement.
For starters, Samsung Australia not organizing the campaign doesn’t necessarily exonerate the whole Samsung group. Big companies usually go out on a limb to unambiguously deny dangerous accusations such as this one.
But Samsung’s response leaves a lot to be desired.
Why specifically deny involvement of Samsung Australia rather than Samsung, the conglomerate? As if the South Korean company never used shady companies to cover traces, mind you…
We also know, thanks to Australian marketing blog Mumbrella, that the wake-up-australia.com.au website sporting a countdown timer is very much similar to the one seen at the tgeltaayehxnx.com (an anagram for “the new galaxy”) website from last week (below), which re-directs to thenextgalaxy.com.
By the way, what’s with that “Following technology blindly often gets you nowhere” tagline?
Now, the Australian website can be traced back to advertising agency New Dialogue, which was recently re-branded as Tongue. If Tongue paid those picketers to flash signs outside an Apple store, it wasn’t for the heck of it. These people were hired. Somebody painted the buss, gave them signs and drove them at an Apple store.
There’s an agenda behind this operation that benefitts a mysterious someone.
Which brings me to my second point, complaints by some folks that nowhere in the video neither the Samsung nor the Galaxy S III logo or name could be seen. This presumes that the stupid chanting was organized to directly promote the upcoming Galaxy smartphone.
My take? Simple, someone purposefully wants to paint Apple as a Big Brother-style company that commands an army of mindless drones. It usually helps asking yourself who could benefit from such a portrayal.
It’s true that Samsung Australia denied involvement and that we have no hard evidence to blame them. But there are too many coincidences and the timing of the official Galaxy S III campaign and this Sydney stunt is beyond chance, in my opinion.
If course, I could be terribly wrong as well and please do feel free to disagree wholeheartedly with me down in the comments. Here’s to the hoping that we’ll soon find out who and why was behind this protest. My two cents say the ‘Wake Up’ thing will re-surface as the creative concept of the official Galaxy S III advertising.
On a final note, there’s this thing in marketing called staged roll-outs which begin with a clever teaser conceived to preferably spoof your biggest rival and get the tongues wagging ahead of your own launch.
That’s what the iSheep commercial and the Galaxy S III teaser campaign have been about thus far.
Is this mudslinging?
I guess you could say that.
Are people talking about it?
Will it work?
Time will tell…
Summing up, here’s perhaps the best comment from yesterday’s article by ZyGangster, he really nailed it:
Do you really think a few number of people would randomly decide to wear all black, rent a bus and pay extra to get it painted, bring signs replicating the font samsung used, all on their own, just to go show some apple customers they shouldnt be buying apple products? I think YOU need to ‘wake up’. It makes more sense thinking Samsung paid these guys to go protest..
His point is surely valid, no?
And your take?
Were these people really just a randomly organized bunch or paid picketers?
Meet us in comments.