Friday, April 20, 2012

Just Plain Stupid

If I were earning - say - a hundred thousand pesos a month. And I get to keep the money all to myself, there is no doubt I will spend a portion of it for home improvement at Muji.

I have been to their store - twice - with my partner. One is in Greenbelt, and the other in Rockwell. They sell stuff ranging from hangers to bookshelves and pillows. Their line of products are all imported from Japan. So you can expect the price to be steep for below-average salary earner like me. 

But when it comes to aesthetics, their zen-like, minimalist elements, Muji's are second to none. For this reason, I regard the store as one of my favorites - even when I cannot afford and won't buy a single item from their shelves.

The non-patron but reverential attitude would have remained - the same - if not for this email I received from Nuffnang. It's a promotion, as some of you would expect and a lofty one if done sincerely and with the Planet's well-being in mind. 

"For every single-receipt of P1,000 with no paper bags or plastics needed..."  The advertisement read, "earns you one stamp." That's pretty tough for a society expecting everything to be wrapped and bagged in plastic. How many times I got strange stares when asking the convenience store clerk that I don't put my purchase in a plastic bag? How much more when you leave the store and walk around a mall with your purchased stuff in your hands? 

Convenience wise, it's just plain stupid. The brand-conscious, social status-hungry among us would never resign to such arrangement.

Unless, Muji's planning to sell a tote bag of their own design. Kaching!

But wait, the ignominy doesn't end there. 

According to the game mechanics, the promo runs from April 20 to July 31, 2012. That's barely 3 months or 6 paydays starting today. I really don't know the price range of Muji's products, but I'm most certain nobody goes there like one goes to a supermarket.

A booklet is given, where one must get 18 stamps to redeem the prize. 18 stamps. Eighteen thousand pesos. Three months. If that's not insanity, a participant is either having problems wasting his money, or he has a serious case of material craving. The mechanics also add that furniture and shelves, including items that are already on sale are not included in the promo.

Malas mo lang. The brains behind this campaign seem to be bent on preventing you from winning the prize.

But I know, some of us rise up to the challenge, and Muji's Go Paperless is one for the books. I wonder how will my PR teacher, Mr. Nicky Salandanan would comment on this: Would it create customer loyalty and retention? Would Muji gain from the brand exposure? Would the campaign really help the environment?

I'll let you be the judge.

And after all the trouble of collecting the 18 high-value stamps - like you did to earn a Starbucks planner; of spending close to 20 thousand in three months, a money you can simply put in a bank, or invest in something else; And after making yourself look stupid to all mall-shoppers believing you've helped the environment in such a shallow, silly way.

The reward for all the effort is this:

"A completed booklet of 18 stamps entitles the customer to a 10% discount on his next purchase. To avail of the discount, customer must present his booklet to the cashier."

So much for a promo.

Come to think of it, why would someone want to avail a 10% discount at Muji when he has all the money to throw away?


JC said...

that is for those privileged ones who can easily spend 18k. it's like Louis Vuitton going on sale. mahal pa rin. lol.

just like my college self cringing at the idea that a starbucks coffee would cost you ~P150. HAHA.

Mugen said...


So much effort for a discount. Especially for a brand that frowns on branding and putting their logo on their products. Nagbigay na lang sana sila ng 10% discount for one day for all the shoppers who would bring their tote bag.

Or buy their own at Muji's. :)

Seth said...

The way I see it, meron naman nga sigurong mga tao that could afford their lifestyle and wouldn't mind spending that much for their wares? I mean, these people might be willing to furnish an entire room and 18k / stamps doesn't seem to difficult for a feat. Perhaps it's more appealing to "eco friendly" upscale clientele to lessen the guilt of overspending despite the poverty around them

Jase said...

I like Muji's products and I find going around their store enjoyable. But yeah, the promo's just whacked. If the prize for collecting all 18 stamps is just a 10% discount on your next purchase, then no thank you, you can have your stamps.

Also, if one's rich enough to spend 18k in three months for Muji stuff, a 10% discount wouldn't matter too much. I guess they're targeting high income individuals wanting to show the world that they care for mother nature too.

It would've been nice if the prize is a privilege card instead that entitles the holder to freebies or a discount on every purchase.

dabo said...

ang mahal pala dyan...

diba consumption, so i dont really get it minsan sa mga kapitalista. the more you spend the more impact it will create on the environment, no matter how earth fwendly the product or service is. no consumption means no carbon footprint, no pollution etc etc.

the green breaker said...

Haha, just another popularity stamp-craze. I can't get the point of being environment friendly in not letting the products be placed on a container.

Plus, I go with your point on the discount.


agree ako kay dabo. this 'plastic-less' thing is just a tip of the iceberg, so to speak. there's more eco-monsters in every product that we can find in the market and the item in the bag than the convenient hand bags (with the store's logo conspicuously printed, a status symbol for some and a free marketing mileage for the shop) that the consumers happily strut around.

on muji's loyalty promo, the reward was just secondary, if at all, in their objective. i can only hazard a guess (hehe), siguro what they wanted to achieve out of this 'stupid' program is to reinforce their data on the profile of their customers and their purchasing behavior, perhaps to further 'exploit' their market.

for such high-end brand with their own share of high-heeled clientele this may be nothing but another mindless game for the rich and famous.

both muji and its loyal rich customers have nothing to lose here but everything to gain.

like any starbucks loyalist, with or without the reward program bibili at bilili pa rin sila ng kape ng starbucks. loyalty has been established and anything more on top of it, senseless, trivial or otherwise, is just a sweet icing on the cake. diabetics would simply brush the icing aside while the sweet tooth loyalists would lap on it with gusto! either way they get the 'cake'.

Chip said...

Jusko hindi sulit. Hahaha! Ito ang tinatawag na "masabi lang na may promo" o "masabi lang na may environmental concern".

Buti sana kung malaki yung discount sa next purchase.

~Carrie~ said...

Grabe naman yang promo nila :(

itsMePeriod said...

nakakaloka ang promo nila!

Mugen said...




The one who came up with this promo could have conceived something else. Gaya nga nung sinabi ko sa Twitter, halatang pinilit lang magkaroon ng eco-friendly slant.

Ang pathetic talaga.


Better yet, mas maganda if Muji has a tree-planting activity tapos for every P5,000 purchase of items from their store entitles you a tree sapling with your name on it. Yun talaga ang FTW na promo.

Mugen said...


Yup, agree ako sayo. I'm trying to put myself in a rich man's shoes. I think, even when I have money to spend, I will buy only what's necessary. Excess consumption is something I'd frown down.

Kuya J.

So it won't add any new clientele for the shop, and those eco-minded, thinking customers of theirs would find this promo an utter waste of creativity?

I feel sad that for all the company stands for, those based here in Manila trash the founders' principles.

Mugen said...


Sa stamp pa lang, naisip ko bigla. Well this is paper? Haha. Ironic lang.


Puwede rin yung idea mo. Yun nga lang, I'd question the use of plastic cards. (Ang purist ko lang.) Lol.


Their upscale clientele wouldn't mind. Besides, effort yun ha! to keep that piece of paper and collect those stamps.

Chip said...

Psst Mugs!!

A friend of mine who is in a marketing job posted this promo in her web site. I shared with her my (our) sentiments about this.

And she said, "If you are have second thoughts availing of the promo, then you are probably not part of the target market."

And I believe she's right. Haha!

Mugen said...


Probably it's true.

But even if I've got money to spare, I still find the 10% discount rather, cheap.

Kindly tell her that.

ZaiZai said...

ang haggard tapos 10% discount! kala ko naman may free piece of furniture after ng 18k at hassle. I'd like to visit Muji though, I'm curious sa prices :)

kalansaycollector said...

mahal sa muji.

anyway this is a clever campaign na thinking nakakatulong ka pa. uhm i dont know if muji notebooks are made from recycled paper... well siguro naman kasi mukhang tanga kung they are urging us to go paperless tas ganun sila. lol

cool. thomasian ka pala. and winner dahil naging prof ko rin si sir salandanan. :p apir ka-tomasino. hehe

Leo said...

We need to have more people criticizing promos such as these. Way to go Mugen, I've learned not to just believe in promotions, but have that more inquisitive mind to decipher and learn the true benefits.

Mugen said...


You'd be surprised. Some don't agree with my observation. But being a consumer myself, I'd say there something wrong, or at least very shallow about the promotion. And it goes against Muji's fundamental ideals.


Wow. So AB ka pala. Communication Arts ba ikaw?

I don't know if their notebooks are recycled. But knowing how the Japanese think, most likely they are. :)


At least a freebie would do. Lakas lang talaga makakuripot ng promo. Haha.

Based from the three recent comments, I personally think Muji failed in brand exposure. They might have their loyal base, but it didn't rub off with those they can actually convert. :(

kalansay said...

yep AB Comm Arts ako. :)

Resty Tayao said...

this is a poorly conceived promotional gimmick intended for morons with lots of money.