Harapan Ong, Master Hacker Extraordinaire

Product marketing is a skill. There's no denying it. Some companies do it extremely well, others are rather meh. And then there are the average companies that out of nowhere do something pretty amazing.

Vanishing Inc. just did that something amazing with the new release by Harapan Ong, Opticks.

The lead up to the release of Opticks was fairly normal, in my opinion. They put out an ad or two for it and they announced it a week or two before its release on social media. So far, so good. Though, they did kick it off with a cool giveaway promo, which I really loved.

#HaraFam Giveaway

Vanishing Inc. made a post on their IG Account (@vanishingincmagic) that announced a chance to win a free copy of Opticks:

Screenshot of Instagram post announcing Opticks giveaway
Giveaway post on Instagram

There may have been other promotions for it too, but this is the one I saw. The post directed everyone to the Opticks product page which showed a "coming soon" countdown and a place to sign-up for a launch notice. If you signed up, you got a free copy of Filter Triumph, a routine that is included in Opticks. You also received instructions on how to enter-to-win the whole thing for free too!

It was simple -- they provided a photo of Harapan, and you had to put yourself in it. Photoshop, MS Paint, heck even printing it out and gluing a photo of you on top would count. Then, post it to IG and tag them. So basically, just post a selfie and tag Vanishing Inc. to help promote the Opticks release.

I've seen two other giveaways like this in the past, one by Alex Pandrea (@alexpandrea) and one by Ryan Schlutz (@falseanchors). I actually won the one by Pandrea and got the entire Svngali box set from it! When I saw the one from Vanishing Inc., I knew right away I was going to enter. And so, I did:

Photoshopped selfie of @gbabbits and Harapan Ong
My #HaraFam entry. Looks pretty good, I'd like to think!

I didn't win though, unfortunately. They took their sweet time letting us know that they quietly let the random person who won know. We, the public, still don't know who it is though so as far as I'm concerned, nobody won. It's very anti-social-media to not tag the winner... makes me think that it was just a scam.

Oh well. I had fun making the pic anyways though.

Account Takeover

So yeah, Opticks released on Friday (May 6th) and I picked it up as soon as I learned I didn't win the giveaway. The physical box of goodies shipped same day too, so that was nice. I watched two of the videos from it Friday night and was pretty happy.

And then, Saturday came. I picked up my phone in the morning and had a push notification from Vanishing Inc.'s IG account... with a new avatar?!

Whoah, what is this?! I went to check it out and laughed pretty hard -- Harapan Ong hacked Vanishing Inc.'s account and was staging a full takeover!

Vanishing Inc.'s story where Harapan Ong announced the takeover!

Obviously, it was a joke to help promote Opticks, but it was done very, very nicely. It was organic. It was interactive and engaging. And more importantly, it was Harapan.

He answered tons of questions in the account's story and gave some cool info about the project overall. He even did 3 IG Lives over the weekend which were dope.

The optics this presented were spectacular. Oh, I see what they did there!

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