There are clever marketing gimmicks and then there are “clever” marketing gimmicks.
The difference, as in the case of Schick, is whether you want to please the critics of the police at the expense of their fans.
On Tuesday, Schick, a distant second to Gillette in the personal care line, made an interesting post on its Facebook page saying there is something more to celebrate on Valentine’s Day.
The post brought up famous singer Paula Tsui, whose hit song Jubilant has become an anthem for an anti-climactic political event (say, Carrie Lam not winning the chief executive election).
Interestingly, it did not say what exactly we should be celebrating but we can glean from the hashtag link to no less than the conviction of seven policemen for assault on activist Ken Tsang.
The issue has been deeply divisive between supporters and critics of the police.
The original post attracted a few thousand “likes” but it was particularly disturbing to Speak Out HK, a group from the pro-establishment camp.
A message posted on the group’s Facebook’s page by a certain Miso Cheng said it was very disappointing – and disgusting – “that your administrator representing Schick’s brand and identity has used such an insult”.
“If your company is using this for sales and marketing strategy to enhance market share, traffic and revenue, I would say that you are doing it by inciting others and dividing society,” Cheng wrote.
“My family will stop spending a dime on your products.”
Schick, a 91-year-old company, has been owned by Energizer since 2003. Energizer also owns Eveready, among others.
To avoid what could potentially become another Lancome debacle, Schick quickly bowed to the complaints.
In its latest Facebook appearance, it retracted its earlier posts, saying it is “aware that our social media activity on Valentine’s Day may have inadvertently caused some concerns with its link to breaking news of the day. It was certainly not our intent to cause any upset or distress and we apologise if that was the case.
“We would like to reassure our consumers that, with our presence in Hong Kong of over 20 years, Schick is focused on product innovation and improvement and we strive to provide Hong Kong consumers with a high-quality shaving experience.”
The retraction attracted 500 “dislikes” from Facebook fans who were disappointed at the U-turn and maintained that there is nothing wrong with the administrator.
Well, it is difficult to make both sides happy.
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