Saturday, May 14, 2011

Whoring Myself For The Travelscene Beijing Trip Sucks Big Time

Sometimes, things sound like a good idea, but when it really happens, you find the reality is slightly shady and not at all fun. When I first heard from Lynda about her free trip to Kuala Lumpur from Travelscene, I was super excited. Lynda had been picked as one of four lucky winners for Fan Trip 2. When Travelscene decided to offer another holiday to Beijing as part of Fan Trip 3, I knew I had to enter. I had actually been thinking of going to Beijing this year, so what a nice coincidence.

The first part of the competition was to explain why you wanted to go to Beijing. That was super easy. I already had an itinerary of things I wanted to do for my own trip so it just involved putting those ideas down onto paper, well digital text anyway. You can follow the link and read about dream Beijing itinerary.

Luckily I was picked as one of 10 semi finalists. I was super excited about this and ready literally jumped around in the office when it was announced. However, the next phase of the selection is what I have come to despise, mainly in regards to my own behaviour. I knew that people would vote for the winners, but I had assumed that Travelscene would open up the voting to existing fans of their Facebook Page and let them vote based on who's entry was the best. I'm not being arrogant when I say that I think my entry is very good and would definitely feature in the Top 3 responses (3 winners would be picked). Instead the voting has become a popularity contest of whoring out yourself. It doesn't look like many of the existing Travelscene fans have voted. Instead, it is up to each contestant to get their friends and families to become a fan of the Travelscene Facebook page, and then vote via the poll. The competition isn't about what your entry is, it's just about soliciting as many people as possible by whatever means to vote for you.

On day 1 of the voting (Friday), I was definitely blinded by the free holiday and acted in a way that I felt dirty about at the end of that day. I was running around asking all my friends, work mates and fellow bloggers to vote for me. I was pestering them and constantly checking if people had done it. By the end of the day, I realised how tired I was and what a dick I was being, saying anything to get people to vote. I know that I've argued that freebies are not the root of all evil previously, but it can be the root of some evils. As I wrote in that post, I am well aware that Travelscene want bang for their buck. They are a business and trying to build more exposure through social media. They're not offering the trip out of the kindness of their hearts. That's fair enough. But to make us jump through these hoops and whore ourselves out to the lowest common denominator, well, this prostitute has had enough. I don't think they will achieve the feeling of good will that they wanted from anyone except the three winners. I know that some friends have already told me they will "unlike" the Travelscene page after this competition.

For the record, I would still love to go to Beijing. But should I not win, I shall go back to plan A of exploring the cost of paying for a trip myself. I'll give the details of how you can vote for me one more time, but I will not be entering into this game of spamming the Travelscene page and getting upset that the voting doesn't seem to work by some of the other contestants. I shall not be harassing my friends anymore or spamming everyone with tweets and emails to vote for me. I can say that if any future competitions require this level of whoring, I won't be entering. I have learnt something about myself through this competition that I will treasure far more than the Beijing trip. I've learnt that it's worth far more to do something you believe in and act in a manner you are proud of rather than do something for easy gain and act in a way that you feel ashamed about.

You can vote for me following the instructions in the link. Voting closes Monday 16th.
How to vote for Thanh in the Travelscene Beijing Trip


  1. Well, put it this way, they make us want to whore ourselves.

  2. Michelle, they did originally, but not anymore. I'm over it.

  3. For what it's worth, I spent 3 weeks in China with my boyfriend and the cost for the entire holiday was less then $2500 per person, including flights, insurance, transport, acommodation, food, sightseeing, everything. And if you read about my adventures on my blog you can see that we lived comfortably and ate well on that budget. Feel free to contact me if you want to know more about my trip. :)

  4. Woah... I get what you did and why you did it! Don't kick yourself *hugs*

  5. Hi Thanh,

    We feel for you. The winners will no doubt be the ones that bugged people the most! If you really want to go you'll get there one way or another.


  6. Oh dear, you have fallen for a common marketing ploy. Don't beat yourself up, it's always tempting to go for a prize, but much harder when it's the second or third incarnation of a tiered promotion - which is something like a pyramid business scheme.

    The company is seeking to expand its database so that they can bombard even more people with marketing and advertising messages. So they get you to do all the hard work of recruiting new followers.

    Competitions are usually good incentives for this as they can be purchased by promoters at wholesale prices, so are relatively low cost for the company to produce. They usually result in a sales uplift for the short term.

    This kind of promotion used to be done with emails, but now Social Media has become the cheapest way to recruit a following, allowing more people's details to be harvested. It also spreads the brand message rapidly far and wide to people who wouldn't ordinarily see their advertising. This is considered a big marketing win.

    Travelscene however may have reached saturation point on those willing to subscribe. I expect that behind this, the Travelscene marketing team has been set a target to achieve of a certain number of new subscribers to their database before the EOFY.

  7. All good Thanh. It is just part of advertising and every business and marketing behind it have a target to hit.

  8. Hey Thanh! I just came to visit to see the progress of this competition you were so excited about. Kudos to you for being honest... if it helps, I didn't think you were being a dick haha just really enthusiastic! I agree that sometimes when we get so excited about the idea of something (whether it be a competition, a promo, an event) we act in a way that's not true to ourselves but the ability to have self awareness to realise it, is such a great lesson in itself. But you know what? At least you had the confidence to go out and promote yourself, cos it does take some guts. Good luck with getting yourself to Beijing - you'll get there.

  9. Leaf, China definitely sounds cheap. I'll look through your posts and get some ideas.

    I-Hua, happy it's all over.

    Stella, I'm sure I'll find other ways.

    Sticky, thanks for all that info. I think they reached the saturation point for me and I was just tired of it all.

    Penny, I get that it's marketing, just not for me.

    Sheryl, thanks for your support. I think I've gained a lot of self awareness and I'll find my own way to China.

    Thank you everyone for your support throughout this competition.