I was one of those silly fools. Those silly fools sitting on my computer, pressing refresh for hours. Those silly fools hoping their kids would nap for just a few more minutes so I could stare unblinking at the computer screen (just me?). I was so excited. So optimistic. So naive.
August 9th, 10PM: I set my alarm for 3 AM, as the Beauty Boards said last year the rewards were released at midnight PST. Excited!
August 10th, 3AM: Woke up easily with alarm. Sat up for an hour refreshing the page eagerly and enthusiastically. Beauty Board now says rewards will be released during “business hours.” Discussions include everything from 6AM EST (when the phone line opens) to 5 PM PST (the end of the business day.) 14 hour time frame… seems dubious. Went back to sleep.
7:30AM: Babies woke me up. I changed and fed them both, bottle in one hand, phone refreshing in the other. Nada.
10:00AM: Sephora sent out a marketing email. Heart jumped into throat as I refreshed every iteration of the site I had open. Realized email had nothing to do with rewards. Popped on to Twitter to commiserate with other waiters. Found a few fun people to follow who weren’t succumbing to the rage that was growing on the Beauty Boards. Sarcasm is a hobby, too!
12:00PM: Let babies nap longer than necessary, thinking Sephora would SURELY put up rewards and this will be worth it. It was now business hours in California. Sephora tweeted some marketing jargon about perfume for your hair. The women raged. The social media seethed. But we persevered.
1:00PM: Still nothing. Site was starting to lag. Maybe girls in California have stormed HQ and the CEO was tied to a pole somewhere.
1:15PM: Received Ulta marketing email to win 25000 reward points. They must have known what was cooking over at Sephora… Entered contest. Didn’t win. Feel like Charlie Brown kicking a football.
2:00PM: Still nothing. Losing enthusiasm by the minute. Beauty Board dissolved into self righteous folk calling others selfish and childish for being upset by this. Selfish/childish folk not happy with this allegation. Mildly entertaining. After studying the boards, decided to change first choice from YSL to Stila, as it is getting no buzz so I might have a better shot of getting it. Still $250 worth of merchandise, even if not my first choice.
3:00PM: Did such a double take that my neck hurts. The page that I had been refreshing for hours looked slightly different. I clicked on the Stila set and barelled through checkout, not positive I had actually added the prize. Checked my confirmation email and…
I got the Stila set!!!!!!!!!!! I keep looking at the confirmation email over and over again to make sure it’s in there. Once it comes, I’ll definitely share my booty. (The prize. Not my butt. Sheesh, guys.)
The fallout: I made the genius decision to subscribe to updates on the Beauty Board, and literally received 130 emails within ten minutes. People were PISSED. In my most pretentious moments, I like to think I wouldn’t have been upset if I didn’t get it. I didn’t spend extra this week to get points, I already had 2000 banked. Plus, all of the things I have purchased recently are things I wanted anyway. But I totally understand if someone just dropped $2,500 this week for a chance to go to Paris. Yes, then I’d be pissed.
Even though my glasses are a bit rose tinted, I do see many, many flaws in this marketing ploy. They convinced thousands of women to spend hundreds of dollars for the chance to win some incredible prizes. And while I can attest to the fact that it wasn’t a complete scam, I can say that it was a pretty transparent marketing ploy. It also rubs wrong that this lottery is one of the only “perks” of being a loyal customer. You spend enough money so that eventually you’ll have the privilage to… spend more money.
And whoever was working the Sephora Twitter account at 3:15 deserves a cookie. Many cookies. All the cookies.