Thursday, March 10, 2011

Marketing Victim - Babies on the Go Event on Facebook by Huggies HK

Batik Baby
Remember not so long ago when I asked for your support to click "Like" on Huggies Hong Kong page and baby Marcus' photo?
To those who have clicked Like and supported us, please accept our sincere gratitude.
Did baby Marcus make it as one of the "top" 60 babies whose photograph get printed on Huggies' bus?
No he didn't.

Was I upset? Very very much.
I've never worked so hard to get votes in my life, not for me, not for anyone. SC and I studiously harassed our friends, coworkers, relatives, gamer friends and you, my blog readers, for votes. I sincerely apologized if I had annoyed you, I know how you don't like to "like", but yet I still asked for your "like". But, could you blame new parents for trying?

Didn't he have enough votes?
We never knew. He had close to 400 votes, but he didn't make it. We are happy for the babies who made it, despite the fact that some of them had less votes than baby Marcus. The contest was not transparent, there was no clear indication of how many qualified votes each baby has.

When I saw the announcement and found out that he didn't make it while others with less votes did, well, saying I was extremely sad was an  understatement. We wanted to know why we didn't make it. We asked Huggies for a transparent explanation, and they posted some kind of a standard reply that mentioned disqualification, suspicious votes, involving bogus accounts and suspicious offshore investment accounts.

I was even more puzzled. Since we worked very hard for our votes, we monitored our votes obsessively. When we harassed a friend, we literally made sure he/she voted correctly, and checked the votes meticulously. Some votes from people who aren't in our FB friend list are really expected since I've asked for support from my blog readers and some very kind friends have actually asked their family and friends to support too. We are extremely and forever grateful for this level of overwhelming support. I am Indonesian living in Hong Kong, it is normal if not expected of me to have non Hong Kong Chinese friends, right? Did they classify all of my overseas support as "suspicious"? Is that fair? Isn't that highly discriminative? Whatever it was, why couldn't they explain? Why couldn't they clarify everything transparently? Are they hiding anything fishy?

I was so upset, but I didn't plan to do anything about it. What am I gonna do? I am an eternal pessimist who generally expect and tolerate unfairness all the time. I planned to just be very sad and stuff my face with chocolates or maybe buy lots of expensive handbags to cheer myself up. But SC reminded me of why I should not do that. When I felt that something is unfair, I should not just hide and cry at a corner without even letting myself be heard. Don't go down without a fight. It was like a slap on my face. But I knew he's right. This is what I've always admired of him. He's started his efforts to let his voice be heard, and I supported him.

Some people think we're nuts. Some people said we took this thing way to seriously. So what if baby Marcus doesn't end up on that bus? Does that make him less adorable? Absolutely not. Does that mean that mama's photography skill is crap? Nope. Does this make him less loved? No. Does this make him any less happy? No. So, why does it matter?

It matters because we are result oriented people who take things seriously and work hard for them.
It matters because it's unfair to us and those who had supported us, friends, family, friends of friends, and blog readers.
It matters because I am learning not to tolerate unfairness.

The marketing and PR team is probably now patting each other's back and is laughing all the way to the bank to cash out their bonuses, but they've successfully disappointed this brand's customers. Well done.


Anonymous said...

This sucks!! I think you should complain to @Timho about this, as I think it was his campaign.

Rachelle said...

Oh no that sucks!! There was this Nissin photo contest that went on a month or two ago which my friend participated in (on FB too)...kinda same situation. But I think a LOT more people participated in this Huggies sucks to see that it wasn't transparent.

Well, just wanted to say that I voted for baby Marcus and looking at the winning entries...Marcus definitely is way cuter than many of them (but I'm sure you knew that already hehe). Plus your photog skills with him are amazing! Every photo you've posted on this blog so far, especially the ones with Marcus, have such great depth...I love your style ;)

Anyways, hope Huggies PR gives an explanation...

Connie said...

Heya Rita, I'm not a parent yet but reading your post, I feel I can completely empathise with you, and I'm really disappointed for you and Marcus as well. I don't mean to offend the parents of the babies who made it, but it may be possible that the judges (if there were any judges really) just picked the photos randomly. There were a lot to choose from and they probably just didn't care about the final vote count; they just wanted to close the competition/promo asap.

Anyway, hope you cheer up soon. Marcus is one super duper cute baby and I'm sure I'll see his pic plastered on a wall somewhere one day!

Sue said...

so sucks...boycott huggies products!

LyddieGal said...

I hate contests like this, the people who win never deserve it! Marcus is the cutest baby, and definitely cuter than a lot of the ones who got in.
And their explanation sounds bogus.

Mrs Ergül said...

When things like that happen, I will usually brush it off but my husband, like SC, will not not put up a fight! Go for it Rita & SC!

JJ said...

This is exactly like my Lane Crawford "LIKE" this party pic experience! OMG.