OnePlus has had some trepidation in the marketing department over the past couple of years. Sure, the startup had a couple of major blunders which it claimed it learned from, but we still have not seen a promotions tactic that hasn’t met controversy. The latest scheme, while supporting a worthy cause, does bring attention to a monetary value gap rather than an ethical value gap.
The “Take the Edge off” contest has begun on OnePlus’s site with the intent of not only getting your latest Samsung smartphone off your hands in turn for a new 64GB Sandstone Black OnePlus 2, but also giving your “old” phone to Hope Phones, a charity that supplies doctors around the world in challenging conditions with some crucial mobile technology.
“We keep our devices free from gimmicks,” says the contest page. But there’s a gimmick in the fact that this ploy is a contest in the first place.
First, you have to fill out an entry form and tweet out why you want to #TakeTheEdgeOff. If you are one of the 50 winners of the contest, you will ship your Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ or Note 5 out to charity — standard trade-in condition rules apply — and OnePlus will get your new phone on to you.
That’s a pretty limited pool of entrants right there. While the notion of donating a $500+ minimum SRP phone to charity seems noble, it is made secondary to the prize of a $389 OnePlus 2. It’s also a brand-exclusive entrant pool, though OnePlus need not be reminded that it is competing with Apple, HTC, LG and many other manufacturers with pricey silverware, not just Samsung.
But a good token effort isn’t too bad.