I recently saw an advert for Vanish promoting their ‘Tip Exchange’ website. The ideas is that people share their tips on the blog and people comment. My immediate reaction was ‘Surely they’re all going to be the same thing, just saying to use Vanish on everything.’
This is pretty much how the advert portrays it, but the advert also makes it look like a thriving online community with people commenting how great the tips are, so I thought I’d check it out.
If you look under the tips – which is surely the major part of the Tip Exchange – the last post was on 6th April, which at the time of writing was about 6 months ago! The tip isn’t even a tip, it’s a question.
Still, 388 people have given it a ♥, so that’s sure to put the Lisa’s mind at ease. Thinking back to the advert, it showed people commenting on the tips saying how great and useful they were, so I then decided to have a look what the last comment was. The last comment was in December!
So what it’s basically saying is that washing up liquid is just as effective as Vanish!
Since July 2014, there has been a total of 16 tips posted. There’s also a search option with categories for the tips, which seems a bit redundant given that there’s not enough posts to fill 2 for each of the 9 categories.
As I scanned through them, I noticed that 10 of them recommended Vanish, which comes as no great surprise. However, 1 person complained that Vanish didn’t work and 3 people recommended using other basic products. My favourite tip was this woman who basically summed up the Tip Exchange idea:
There’s only two responses to the tips and both of them recommend using washing up liquid instead. The earlier tips have got an average of 30 ♥ and then in November there was a big leap to over 300. I suspect they put a few on before they launched the advertising campaign in order to make it look popular. With only 16 tips in over two years, I think it’s fair to say that idea failed.
But that’s not it! The second half of the site gives users the opportunity to ask questions and comment their answers. Maybe this is where all the action is happening?
The questions started a little earlier, with the first one in January 2014. There’s a total of 91 questions posted. Now we’re talking! So the traditional forum for asking questions is more successful than the big tip exchange idea… or is it? The answer of course lies within the answers.
There are a total of 31 answers. So roughly two thirds of the questions remain unanswered. Success! But even the answers might not necessarily be answers, they could just be comments, so I took a look.
There are 10 answers recommending a Vanish product, 15 recommending other products (including ‘washing it’, ‘putting it out in the sun’ and ‘buying a new one’) and 2 complaining about how bad Vanish is. The rest are just people saying they have the same problem.
Here are some of my favourites:
The most prolific commenter is a woman called Natalie. Her first appearance was a post asking ‘My suede shoes are filthy any ideas how to clean them?’ But it seems she worked it out, because 8 months later she responded to two questions recommending Vanish Oxy action gold both times. It’s almost as if she’s trying to sell it!
Early on, the questions got barely any ♥, but in March 2016 they again go into the hundreds. This seems a bit odd considering there’s no answers – hundreds of people reading the question and liking it, but nobody suggesting an answer or even commenting that they have a similar problem? What’s going on there?
So, the question Vanish will want to know is, has the project been a success? Well, out of a total of 140 posts (16 tips, 2 comments, 91 questions and 31 answers) only 20 people recommend Vanish. Overall, I think it hasn’t worked as well as they’d hoped, but there’s still some fun to be had from it. I might try and post a question myself.