Friday, March 11, 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.


Chris said...

I applaud your stance on this. I would continue to communicate with Huggies on this. Did it ever say that votes can only come from HK?? And you can also inform the company that you are truly disappointed in their lack of transparency/ judgement/ rationale, and you have forever lost faith in the company and will not be using their products. Don't expect them to come running but do it for your own satisfaction and your sense of morality.
I understand how u feel like an "outsider"...I worked in HK for 2.5 years as a Canadian Chinese.

daphne said...

Oh rita, what a disgrace. Sounds like it wasn't very fair. U guys did good by doing the right thing.

Gastronomous Anonymous said...

to me, he is still the cutest baby! miss him!

Cooking Gallery said...

Should I 'dislike' Huggies HK now ;)? - It looks weird that I 'like' it since I don't live in HK and have no children;). I can imagine and understand why you're so upset. It doesn't sound fair, maybe the babies who get chosen know the judges personally (the parents I mean)?? Such competition is often dirty like that, that's why I am not so keen participating on such events.

aki! said...

It is unfair. I hope to see you fight them and win.

Joanne said...

Ugh I am SO sorry Rita! Thanks so much for alerting us all to this! They should have at LEAST told you about what they "suspected" was going on while the contest was happening and they have to know that just because you live in one country doesn't mean you don't have friends in others! What about globalization!!

sparklingcosmic said...

hey i haven't visited this blog, and i did not know that you are a mom now.. congratulations Rita!! I'd vote for him sincerely too.. oh..that brand is not superbe either. I bought once and got really dissapointed with it.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Sorry to read about this. I would be angry too if those that had less votes made it and yours didn't.

celine said...

to me, marcus is already a winner. he is super cute and i truly mean it! :) xoxo

moonui.. said...

awww that's so unfair!! He's so cute!! He had a LOT a votes, they should have respected that and made their decisions based on the votes-clear cut-- instead of trying to wiggle their way out of it.
Don't worry about it, its a past deal now and Marcus will be up for even greater things:)

Alice said...

hi Rita,

these kind of contests are often playing dirty games - juz like CG said

i have 2kids and never joined any since they're babies - haha...
(lazy mummy!!!)

anyway, Marcus pic is way too good to be put in the bus lah...keke...
he's too adorable to describe - honestly!

and true what sparklingcosmic said, huggies products suck!!!
i'm a mummy of 2 who have tried almost all diaper brands and they gotta be careful and do something if they stil want to exist!

now, i'm also up to my nerves! hahaha....get some ice cream now! :P

Sophie ala Mode said...

That's such a great picture of your son. It's Huggies lost for not putting it on the bus.