Thursday, March 08, 2012

Seriously, Godiva?

Just a warning, this is a major #FirstWorldProblems whiny type of post. But hey, sometimes you've gotta grumble a bit when you're annoyed!

I got selected to host a house party for Godiva to promote their new chocolate infused vodkas. Chocolate? Vodka?  Hello, I'm IN!

According to the party info, I was going to get a pack including (and I quote)

For You:
  • 1 Gift Card for purchasing Godiva® Spirits

For Your Party:
  • 15 Godiva® magnetic recipe cards
  • 15 Godiva® cups
  • 25 Godiva® napkins
Remember to use the gift card to purchase all the delicious Godiva® Spirits Chocolate Infused Vodka that you’ll need for your party.

Reading that last sentence, what would you expect? Since there are 2 flavors of the vodka, I was personally expecting a gift card that would cover at least 2 bottles, maybe even with a little left over to cover something to mix with. The whole idea of the party is supposed to be to let your guests (and you're expected to have at least 10) sample the vodkas and try out fun cocktail recipes. At the very least, you'd expect it to cover one bottle, right?

Nope. Instead, they sent me a $20 gift card and a coupon for a $9 mail-in rebate. I just checked at my local grocery store, and the Godiva godka is $29 plus tax there. In other words, I'm expected to fork out the extra $10-ish from my own pocket, and then wait several weeks to get it back? Plus pay for other ingredients to mix the drinks with? Godiva wants me to pay a bunch of money so I can promote their product??

I think I'd even be less grumpy if they had stated up front in the party info that the gift card wouldn't cover the whole bottle, so that people would know what they were signing up for. Instead they have a lot of disappointed party hosts. 

Any time I've hosted something like this in the past, the company sponsoring it has always provided MORE than enough favors/supplies for the guests. As a made-up example, if they want you to try their pizza, they send enough compensation to cover more pizza than your guests can possibly eat, plus breadsticks, dessert and drinks, and maybe even a free movie rental for entertainment. They don't send enough for half a pizza and expect you to do the rest. 

The smart, classy thing for Godiva to do would have been to send a gift card that would cover two bottles (lets face it, ONE bottle of vodka is not going to go very far if you have 15 party guests), with enough left over to buy a few things to try mixing it with. So, since the vodka is about $30/bottle, around $75? (Which, amusingly, is what I'm told Dominos gave its party hosts, when we all know their pizza is like $10. They get a thumbs up.)

Entire contents of my party pack. The top right are little magnetic recipe cards, which mostly amount to "Pour Godiva vodka in a cup. Drink it."

The little drink cups they sent are cute (if flimsy), but there are only 15 of them. "What, Bob? You want another drink?  Sorry, you'll have to wash out your little plastic cup."  Super classy.

I still intend to have people over to try the vodka, since I agreed to do so, but I've gone from really excited about it to not excited at all. Instead I'm left wishing I could just buy a $12 bottle of Pinnacle Chocolate Whipped and actually have fun mixing up drinks. I'm seeing a lot of posts from other party hosts saying the same thing, so I can't help but wonder if Godiva has done more to hurt their image than help it with this "promotion". 

I *love* reviewing and promoting new products, which is easy to see from my blog, but I think the #1 rule of promoting your product is that you need to show respect to the blogger/host/etc who is helping you promote it. Most of us put a LOT of time and energy into what we do, and it's not fair to expect us to do that without giving *something* back. I'm generally more than happy to review a product/service in exchange for receiving it for free, because I'm on a super limited budget and can't afford to buy much beyond food for myself, so free clothes/beauty products/etc are awesome. And if I really like something, you know I will tell a ton of people about it. 

It's kind of funny how much of a difference $10 makes. If only Godiva had been smart enough to send out $30 gift cards instead of $20, so that it would at least cover the price of a bottle (or mostly, some people have said it's like $32 where they are), they would still have a gaggle of happy, excited hosts. If they're worried about people spending the gift card on something other than their vodka, they could have sent out coupons good for one free bottle instead. Instead, they went the cheapskate route and offended a lot of the people they're expecting to spread the word about them. 

Why do I have a feeling they might need to hire a new PR person soon?

1 comment:

Frugal Follies said...

Wow, that is crazy! I've never hosted one of those parties before, though I've thought about it. Now I'll know to be more wary if I decide to.