Samsung and a marketing team working on its behalf were reportly behind a flashmob protest at an Apple Store in Australia. The flashmob took place outside the Apple Store in Sydney; a bus full of protestors all dressed in black left the bus and lined up outside the store's window. They then produced signs that they held up against the windows with the words 'Wake Up’ emblazoned across them. The flashmob then chanted ‘Wake Up’ through the window at Apple’s staff and customers.
An Australian blogger just happened to be in the Sydney Apple Store at the time of the flashmob’s appearance and managed to capture it on video. Maybe a coincidence or maybe not, who knows but he certainly seemed to capture the action from all angles. This is not the first time that Samsung has targeted Apple's customers with its strange marketing tactics. We have already seen a few adverts which blatantly make fun of iPhone users.
Samsung looks like it will be announcing its latest Galaxy S III Android phone in the next few days. This sort of marketing is its attempt at creating some buzz for the launch, but also at hitting Apple in an area where it may really hurt -- the perception that Apple is "cool". It's a risky gamble. Some Apple or would-be Apple users might have second thoughts and consider Samsung. Others might just think Samsung are a collective bunch of jackasses and want nothing to do with their brand.
Samsung initially became the largest Android manufacturer in the world largely by making products as close to Apple's as possible without being made by Apple. If you wanted Apple but either couldn't get it, or were adverse to getting it, Samsung positioned themselves to be there for you. They brilliantly rode the wave of general smartphone awareness and preconceptions Apple established in the modern market.
Now Samsung has become bolder and are striking out with different devices like the Galaxy Note line, and are trying to distance themselves from Apple, aggressively, with their new marketing.
It's more interesting, more exciting, and more offensive. It's also likely transitional. After "we're just like Apple" and "don't be like Apple", the next phase has to be "we're Samsung" and that will be the one to really watch.
UPDATE: Samsung has denied that they were involved with the flashmob... Anyone taking bets on who else would want to do this? Maybe Greenpeace? They've had protests at an Apple store in London following on their iCloud report; maybe this campaign in Australia is a part of the same movement.