OnePlus “Ladies First” competition looks like another marketing blunder (update 2)

August 12, 2014

ladies-first-opo

Update: Likely in response to all the negative media attention the “Ladies First” contest has received, OnePlus has now apparently pulled the entire contest’s forum page. It is currently unclear whether they are tweaking the contest and plan to repost it or if they have simply ended it completely.

Update (2): OPO has now officially responded with a post apologizing for the misunderstanding regarding the contest, and admitting it was in bad taste.

Women make up half the world, and we want to help them be more involved in tech. We understand that our contest was in bad taste, and have therefore pulled it. All participants will be contacted for prizes.

We apologize and we will course correct for the future. At the same time, we would love to hear your feedback on how we can better get women involved in tech.

When it comes to marketing on a shoestring budget, OnePlus has proven it knows how the game is played. A half year ago the company barely existed, and today the brand is extremely well-known in the tech world. Of course, not all the company’s marketing moves have been positively praised, with some of the biggest disasters arguably being the invite system and the “Smash the Past” contest. Now as OnePlus comes upon 200K registered forum users, they are holding a new contest that has once again raised a few eyebrows.

As we close in on the 200K mark for the number of registered forum users, OnePlus wants to give a shout out to the few but beautiful female fans in our community with our Ladies First contest. In true gentlemen fashion and because chivalry is not dead, we are giving the lovely ladies of OnePlus a chance to skip the invite line and introduce themselves to us.

Basically, women are asked to take a photo of themselves with the OnePlus logo clearly visible either on a piece of paper or drawn somewhere on their body. The “50 most well-liked ladies” will receive an invite for the OnePlus and a Never Settle t-shirt. OnePlus also plans to give out 100 invites at random to any lady that participated in the contest.

As you might have guessed, there haven been many folks that have spoken out against the contest, due to its potentially sexist nature. In fact, one OnePlus fan even posted an image of herself flipping off the camera with a OnePlus One logo and the words “don’t be sexist”. The fact that the contest announcement ends with the line “Ladies, no nudity please” probably doesn’t help the situation any.

On a personal note, I think that the OPO is a great handset, but it’s obvious that the marketing team needs some serious work and this contest took things way too far, going somewhere OnePlus simply shouldn’t have. What do you think, do you think the wording and premise behind the OnePlus “ladies only” contest was a bad move? Conversely, do you feel that folks are making this into a bigger deal than they should? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Comments

  • Jayfeather787

    What the hell? So guys pick a sexy girl and they get an invite? Wow. One Plus, you are a disappointment.

    • http://www.digitalpencils.me Digital Pencils

      Ugly men feeling jealous that hot girls get a chance lol :D

  • sivkai

    One word to describe OnePlus One team. Pathetic.

    • MasterMuffin

      And horny apparently?

    • bogtwist

      they have just lost every single female potential buyer , whoever came up with this idiotic idea should be fired asap

      • Bruce

        Why would they have lost every female? Nothing wrong with it. They have a few invitations to hand out and trying to be innovative. If you have such a thin skin, move along. There are plenty in line.

      • http://www.digitalpencils.me Digital Pencils

        Except girls with a sense of humor.

      • sluflyer06

        nah, just the unattractive or insecure ones.

  • http://www.AndroidAuthority.com/ Darcy Alexander LaCouvee

    Oh, wow. Let me get the popcorn. Can’t say they aren’t trying, but imagine if Apple or another major tech company did this.

    • Luka Mlinar

      way ahead of you :)

  • Luka Mlinar

    OMFG this has all the makings of an epic FAILURE :D

  • Joaquin Padilla Rivero

    If I were a marketing student I’d be downloading HTTrack and backing up the One Plus forums… so many marketing failures in so little space is a real treasure!

  • Scoosch

    This is not a big deal. They are trying to get more female users for their phone. They explicitly state that this isn’t for nudity, and all women are encouraged to enter. All women of different shapes/sizes/colors are lovely and beautiful and should be encouraged to enter the contest if they want a phone.

    • PoisonApple31

      Are you on the One Plus legal team or what?

      • Scoosch

        Nope :) Just think that outrage over this is over the top.

  • Unknown

    Well… a lot of people are doing it…
    As they always say, “It ain’t stupid if it works!”

  • Sal

    Omg this marketing move is so stupid that it’s making me laugh so hard. This will crash and burn into epic proportions.

  • http://mobilecrackers.blogspot.in/ MObiLeCRacKErS

    Ladies Contest .. so They don’t need men.. cool

  • Ricardo Jimenez

    You know what? That just about did it for me and my hope for OnePlus. I’ve been patiently waiting for this phone to be released without any more BS but I clearly see know that will not be the case. There phone packs great value for what it is, and I was willing to wait a couples months to get an invite or for the phone to be released, but with these stupid contents of “ladies first” I clearly see this is not a professional company, and it makes me think there marketing department is just a piece of crap. I wish you luck OPO your going to need it.

  • vince1228

    I don’t like how they go about there marketing strategy and knowing that they are losing fans to there poor tactics.
    I hate to say it but this company knows how to stay in headlines after it seems to be fading away.

  • D.Souza

    At least they managed to make the front page of AndroidAuthority… :)

  • TDioWS

    “or drawn somewhere on their body”.

    I’m not even mad.

  • fredphoesh

    Get stuffed OnePlus, I hope people have the sense to NOT buy your products. F OFF!!!

  • i_say_uuhhh

    I would love to do this! Oh wait you have to be female…. looks like I’m never going to get a OnePlus..

    • Arturo Raygoza

      Discrimination!!!!

  • Michael

    Its like a profesor I had said at the begining of the period: “if you want to aprove this class there 2 ways; the first is using a dress and looking good with it and the second is stuying hard”

    • Michael

      studying*

  • Mark Kendrick

    This company has turned out to be a pathetic p.o.s. I don’t care how “fantastic” their phone is the marketing and sales channel is just plain crap. I used to be super excited to buy this phone but now, not at all. If they gave me one I’d check it out but I’ll never pay a dime for it.

  • adamhs

    Don’t like it? Then don’t participate. Problem solved. The holier-than-thou moral outrage over this is completely retarded.

  • Zizou

    One of the most disgusting Marketing strategies of all time . Lol . One Plus , go and f&%$# urselves .

  • AndroidBrian

    Like usual, it was taken to seriously. #PC

  • AndroidBrian

    Is it really a marketing failure? We’re all talking about it right now. Its not serious enough for potential customers to decide not to buy the One+. No big deal.

  • ZhoraGosha

    So there are tons of contests based on women looks, shit woman’s life is based on her looks, and you guys bitch about this one??

  • Kyle

    How is this sexist? I’m lost as to how, asking a woman to post a picture is sexist? Last time I checked they do that on IG & FB without being asked & they win nothing.. How is people choosing whose pic they like the most sexist? Because every social media site or app has a like button, & I don’t see anyone saying FB should remove their like button cause its sexist, they don’t complain when a person likes or doesn’t like their picture there.. OnePlus said no nudity & that is somehow a problem ?? If the message wasn’t there & nude pics were posted would that help the situation any? Is the problem really that this is sexist? Or is it that if you post your pic & it doesn’t have the most likes you’ll feel bad, so you’ll rather cry sexist to avoid having to do it? As if someone had a gun to your head to do it in the first place [could easily come to AA & enter a sunday giveaway]. To the people calling it sexist, if you entered & won would it still be sexist? Thing is if OnePlus were asking men to do this, no one would give a damn, this will be no news. Sexist is it?
    Disclaimer: I’m not from the Oneplus legal team, before a smartass decides to make a joke about it.

    • PoisonApple31

      This reads more like a Dear Abby letter than a post from the legal team. No need to joke about it.

    • Alenym

      Simply put, while it is true that people (women AND men) do that all the time on Facebook, they do it of their own free will, as you said it. And the two key concepts are “equality” and “freedom”: people of both sex do it, and they do it freely.

      The message Oneplus with this contest is sending is basically “women, be pretty and you will be rewarded”.
      Why not opening the contest to everyone? Because women have to be pretty, not men. Men judge and choose the winning ladies. So yeah, it’s basically enforcing the stereotype where women have to win by their looks, and have to wait to be chosen by males. See what I mean?

      And to be perfectly honest with you: if I were a woman, I wouldn’t have participated to that contest. If anything, this contest has made Oneplus fall in my heart.

      And yeah, if Oneplus were asking men to do this – and only men -, it would still be sexist. Reification of manhood also exists.

  • Jerry Rich

    The sexist mentality of most of the comments to this article certainly prove your readers haven’t made it too far along the evolutionary trail.

  • PurelyConservative

    Could we get beyond the dumb marketing campaign and get the dumb phone out to market already?! I was really interested in this phone, but have quickly lost interest because of the constantly fumbled marketing campaign. All I am looking for is the best bang for my buck in an unlocked phone, and I thought OPO was going to be it, but they have done there best to make sure that it is not.

  • Ravi

    F**k your strategies and just release it in the market morons……….

  • wes

    Deleting oneplus one account. Cant support this $#1t.

  • Havoktek

    You know…I’m all down for the sexy stuff on the net blah, blah, blah…..However from a business standpoint, have some frakkin’ integrity and honor about your product…Show some grace in the name of Android & Cynagenmod…Show some balls by going head up against the mainstream retailer by making you device available to EVERYONE. Damn if you going to be a maverick be classy about it…not this crap of a contest….I mean really what did they think would happen??? You created a system of desire for your device and then make it at a killer price which most could actually afford within’ reason…..BUT you make it damn near unattainable……..and then you drop some stupid contest in the belief that all would be rational! Give me a frakkin’ break!!

  • bakakun028

    I bet the patriarchy did this!

  • bogtwist

    god what a bunch of dickheads

  • StacyD

    My thoughts on this

  • WantNewNexus

    Is there any youtube video changing gender for one plus?

  • krazamba

    It wasn’t only “Ladies, no nudity please” before they changed the wording, it was “Ladies, no nudity please, but if you want to push the envelope a bit, I don’t think any of the guys here will complain.” disgusting!

  • sunnyng

    I was very excited about OPO at first. With all these contests I feel like I have to beg to give them my money. Is it worth it ??? Going to get myself a G3 instead.

  • Gregory Opera

    Proving that chivalry is not dead?

    Um, chivalry died the moment the female population decided that absolutely eveything males do – and nothing females do (even if it’s the same thing!) – is sexist!

    And heck, even if you go “back to basics”, a quick search online will show plenty of stories in which someone trying to be gentlemanly (such as by opening doors for males, etc…) has been accused of being “sexist”…

    • Jerry Rich

      Spoken like a true sexist.

  • danish tamboli

    guys 1 invite for u people !!! 49AW-FHF1-UBF8-JQ9G
    https://account.oneplus.net/invite/claim/49AW-FHF1-UBF8-JQ9G.gg

  • danish tamboli

    guys 1 invite for u people !!! 49AW-FHF1-UBF8-JQ9G
    https://account.oneplus.net/invite/claim/49AW-FHF1-UBF8-JQ9G

  • Teic

    They can do whatever they want, participation is not mandatory… And people are pathetic for getting offended by that, just look at the disgust that’s on TV and what people are willing to do for money.

  • Adon

    Whatever talk stupid,cheap,sexist and complisent. Watch yourself 1+1. NEXUS is still alive and well,image your imaginary success WITH YOUR amazing purchase process and marketing system (you dont have one).

  • Woe of [S]unjΔy

    Seems like they’ll choose the 50 (subjectively) prettiest latest.

  • Joey

    This is the only article about this that seems reasonable and not feeding into hyper-senstitivity.
    This also is the only way OnePlus could verifty the participant was 1) a female. and 2) real. Like Reddit AMA picture verification with the day’s date.

  • Oliver Ward

    OnePlus definitely are fun to watch. Just like those fail video compilations..

  • Gon

    No photos were done BECAUSE
    ALL FEMALE ACCOUNTS ARE FAKE AND ARE MALES BEHIND THEM! WEIRD MEN GIVE THEM INVITES

  • Charlie Brown

    the reason people are taking this really serious is because this phone was suppose to be a hit with all of there talk and now you have all these dumb contest just to win an invite when they cant even give us a release date

    • Arturo Raygoza

      Exactly, what’s next invites for the top 50 transgender? Asians?

  • Arturo Raygoza

    Sexism isn’t what makes me angry about this, the fact that their phone has been out for so long and they are still playing stupid games to get phones out is what makes me mad. They need to grow the hell up and stop all these dumb games and release the damn thing already like a real freaking company!

    • http://www.danijel.org/ Danijel Turina

      I think it’s already too late for that and they will go down in history as the greatest marketing fubar of all times. You can play hard to get when you’re the best, but they’re not the best, they are just the cheapest of the good.

  • http://www.digitalpencils.me Digital Pencils

    People are too uptight.

  • http://www.danijel.org/ Danijel Turina

    When they actually start making that phone in significant quantities, it will already be obsolete.

  • KapteinStein

    OnePlus is the biggest disappointment I can ever recall in my “android-life”. A Cyanogenmod-phone used to be what dreams were made of, now I would be embarrassed to even be seen with a OnePlus device…

  • Robcop

    Ridiculous if you ask me. In today’s world everything hurts everyone in the butt even the ones benefiting. You don’t see a guy saying “where’s my male promo?”
    Everyone has to get so critical about something so small. If it offends you don’t participate and get over it