A lot has been written this week about the so called ridicule Waitrose suffered on Twitter after running a campaign to complete the tweet “I shop at Waitrose because….” , encouraging users to use the hashtag #WaitroseReasons.
While Waitrose did receive some serious responses it seems on the whole they got a host of hilarious tweets playing up to the ‘posh’ image of the shop.
For example @amoozbouche tweeted ‘I shop at Waitrose because it makes me feel important and I absolultely detest being surrounded by poor people’ and ‘I also shop at Waitrose because I was once in the Holloway Rd branch and heard a dad say ‘Put the papaya down, Orlando!’
I won’t publish all of the tweets but you can imagine what the others said.
This was seen in many quarters as a massive social media fail with Sebastian Joseph in Marketing Week suggesting that it ‘brings into sharp focus the worrying lack of understanding that some brands still have about how to use the micro-blogging site.’
I disagree I think Waitrose knew exactly what they were doing and the resulting impact from it has done them no harm whatsoever.
Let’s think what would have happened if the campaign had generated just straight laced replies. Sure they would have been seen by their already signed up twitter followers as caring and sharing but that would have been that and nothing much gained from it.
Instead they have managed to receive massive amounts of national news coverage not only online but in print and news coverage and they also managed to promote to other Waitrose customers that they have an active social media offering.
Yes Waitrose have been trying to project an image of providing an affordable option by price matching some of its products and that the resulting tweets only emphasized the upmarket nature of the store but all the news stories mentioned this, getting the message across to all that read it.
The only criticism I would level at them is that I think they should have leveraged the amusing responses more on their social media channels perhaps by awarding a prize to the funniest tweet.
I for one only shop in Waitrose occasionally, wishing I could do it more often. After all at the end of the day who would you rather be shopping with Wayne and Waynetta or Henry and Henrietta?
And as for the news coverage, as one of their rivals say ‘Every little helps.’