UPDATE: Samsung just officially denied any involvement with the “Wake Up” protest held outside of an Australian Apple Store earlier this week. According to SlashGear, the company stepped forth Friday and denied any ties to the affair: ”Samsung Electronics Australia has nothing to do with the ‘Wake-Up Campaign’.” Read more at 9to5Mac.
Samsung reportedly hired marketing agency Tongue to lead an advertising campaign for its upcoming Galaxy S III launch, and its first demonstration occurred at an Apple Store in Australia earlier this week, but the event resembled more of a protest or call to arms, rather than a promotional stunt.
A mysterious black bus donning the phrase “WAKE UP,” coupled with hordes of chanters waving coordinating signs in the air, roamed through the streets of Sydney on April 22. The show paraded in front of George Street’s Apple store and left the entire city in confusion.
According to Australian website mUmBRELLA, the staged fuss also boasted a series of billboards posted around the area, as well as “WAKE UP” written on the bottom of Bondi Ice Bergs’ pool, and an equally-mystifying website at wake-up-australia.com.au. The URL is registered to ad agency New Dialogue, which underwent rebranding and now goes by the name “Tongue.”
The website allegedly counts down the Galaxy S III launch, but it is set to end at 3 p.m. May 6. The highly anticipated Android-powered smartphone is the primary rival to Apple’s iPhone, and it is unveiling May 3 in London, so circulating rumors indicate the “WAKE UP” countdown is actually the device’s landing date for Australian markets.
Samsung previously hosted a teaser website at tgeltaayehxnx.com, which is anagram for “the new galaxy,” that also contained a countdown. It redirected users to thenextgalaxy.com when the clock ran out last Monday. Samsung embedded a video on the subsequent page that promised its next Galaxy device will “stand out from everyone else” while depicting a slew of sheep in a field for the closing frame. The imagery and language is a definite jab at iPhone users, who are often mocked as “iSheep,” over speculation that they blindly follow Apple.
In related news, the Apple store on George Street endured another protest this week, but this time environmental organization Greenpeace was the culprit. It aimed to convince Apple that renewable energy sources should run its cloud computing platform iCloud instead of coal.
Greenpeace released its “How Clean is Your Cloud?” report last week that evaluated 14 information technology companies based on key factors required to build a green cloud. The report discovered Apple relied on coal and nuclear energy to power its centers, while Google showed a commitment to clean energy.
“Of all the IT companies we’ve examined, Apple has the greatest potential to lead the sector in renewable energy and innovation,” said Climate and Energy Unit Head for Greenpeace Canada Christy Ferguson on Greenpeace’s website. “Their history of out-of-the-box thinking and huge cash reserves position them as the best IT company to transform the sector.”
Alongside the Sydney protest, Greenpeace demonstrated against Apple in Toronto, San Francisco, and New York by asking the Cupertino, Calif.-based Company to “Clean our Cloud.”