How Distasteful, Obvious, Sad, and Desperate Some People Can be
Rant mode: On.
Just recently Smart Communications launched a free Internet offer of (30MB daily) for their prepaid subscribers. It’s definitely a game changing offer because it opens up a lot of opportunities for Filipinos who can’t afford expensive data plans to the Internet (not just limited to Facebook). There are limitations though like not having access to video streaming, peer-to-peer downloading, and OTT messaging. However everything else in the Internet is now open to Filipinos with a Smart prepaid sim.
The day after the offer black ops on social media started to happen (click the link for screencaps and detailed explanation on Unbox). Twitter accounts with foreigner profile pics, usually beautiful women, with no followers and no following, start replying to people on Twitter who mention “Smart Free Internet”. In their replies they attack the brand and the offer, sometimes even with their own hashtags. The name of the game is to individually discourage users to avail of the offer and to slander Smart’s brand by trying to get their hashtags to trend (not that trending matters these days).
If you want a live demo of this happening, check out this account.
The account only tweets if there are Smart launches and it has no followers and it barely follows anyone. Red flags that the account is fake and obviously made to fool people into thinking that they’re talking to an actual person with legitimate complaints when it fact they are being deceived and lied to by a black ops group/organization.
Hopefully this post gets to reach the person who actually hired the group to do black ops. My message for you is this — you are deceiving your consumers with fictitious accounts. You’re making fools out of them by making them feel they’re talking to real people when they’re not. This is digital marketing without creativity and with no soul. Instead of doing stuff like this just come up with a better offer, inform everyone about it, and let the consumers decide.
Disclaimer: For total transparency — I work for Di9it which is partly owned by DM9 JaymeSyfu which is an agency that services Smart. The views expressed in this post does not represent my company or that of DM9 JaymeSyfu. This is my personal take on the issue and consistent with my advocacy against this practice. I’ve always maintained an anti-black ops stance and have spoken publicly about this in several industry events.