Lest you’re unaware, virtual telco Circles.Life is known for primarily two things:
Its data plans even Forrest Gump could afford…
Alongside its larger-than-life advertising campaigns.
And indeed, Circles.Life has always been pretty colourful… controversial even… when it comes to promotional campaigns.
For example, they held a $3 marketing campaign earlier this year, which promised a $50 note for every $3 inserted. And while it sounded like the heavens themselves have blessed the earth, reality’s quite different in the sense that it damn near morphed into a bloodbath and the police had to intervene.
And then we have their previous advertisements that played on the global topic of poverty.
In case you’re guessing, yes, it touched quite a few nerves.
So as you can kind of tell, Circles.Life might be pretty innovative about their advertising methods…
But whether it’s well-received is another story altogether.
Anddddd… they’ve struck again
You might’ve already known this, but Circles.Life has recently introduced a campaign that invited people to submit their own Epic Invites. Invite who, you wonder. Well as it turns out, it could be just about anybody. And if the telco likes the idea, they will advertise it for you.
Like how they did for this Henry Golding fan.
And unsurprisingly, the news got hot, and several online media outlets picked up on it. Whether @c_ndis got to go on that date with the Crazy Rich Asian, however, is unclear.
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But while the gesture was clean (surprisingly), it seems that the same can’t be spoken about this one.
How about no?
If you’re not familiar with Eunice Olsen, here’s a quick update:
The 41-year-old was previously a nominated member of parliament, and has also participated in the Miss Singapore Universe pageant in 2000, which she won.
And if you find her familiar, you’re probably not mistaken; the beauty has also undertaken roles on TV, as well as the job of a TV presenter on the small screen. So yeah, she’s pretty much perfect.
Small wonder why someone will ask her out.
However, it seems that the invite is more or less in tatters, for the ex-actress has publicly denounced the move as ‘distasteful’. What’s more…
She has lodged an actual police report.
Following Ms Olsen’s Instagram outburst, Circles.Life was quick to rectify the situation. In an interview with The Straits Times, a spokesperson for the virtual telco said:
“In regard to the Epic Invite campaign billboard that featured a submission by @alexkrygsman, we never intended to make Ms Olsen feel uncomfortable and we apologise for that.”
But it seems that the damage has been done.
Here’s Ms Olsen’s post in full:
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Hi everyone, Thank you for your texts, comments and concern. I have officially lodged a police report about the ad. I did this because: 1. Whether it was my name or someone else’s, it was used without permission. And this has nothing to do with the fact that the original post was open sourced. 2. Advertising can play a big role to influence gender equality. As a brand, ad agency, media buyer or media owner, you have the power through your ads to empower women, or disempower them. We are influenced by what we see in advertising whether we like it or not. By having ads like that, you are sending the wrong message and reinforcing stereotypes about women. I am deeply disappointed, and disapprove of this ad and what it represents. It is misappropriation of identity, sexist, derogatory, disrespectful, distasteful and is a cheap shot at a publicity stunt. I would like to ask all of you what you think should be my next course of action.
Well, with that said, I guess controversial methods are always going to have a chance of failure.
But hey, do not let that discourage you, Circles.Life. For really…
Creativity’s is scarce enough. Don’t compromise it further. Instead…
Just compromise the offensive parts. I think nobody will mind. 😉
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