5th October 2012

Waitrose’s social media disaster, or …

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Waitrose Social Media Fail The recent Waitrose Twitter campaign, which asked the users of Twitter to complete the sentence “I shop at Waitrose because…” followed by the hashtag #waitrosereasons, has sparked up debate among marketeers as to whether it was a success or failure. From our point of view, this campaign was a huge success. For one the Tweets were hilarious and two, it got people talking about the brand, although probably not in the most ideal manner. The majority of comments made were through some kind of joke in reference to how expensive Waitrose is, an image the grocer has been trying to steer away from for some time. Here are a few of our favorite tweets from the campaign: “…because I think food must be automatically better if it cost three times as much” “…because Clarissa’s pony just will not eat ASDA value straw” “…because Tesco doesn’t stock unicorn food” “…because you say ‘10 items or fewer’ not ’10 items or less’ which is important” “…because if you buy a full tank of helicopter fuel, you get 10% off champagne. It is a recession after all.” “…because it makes me feel important, and I don’t like being surrounded by poor people” There were one or two serious tweets, but no one really cared about or retweeted them. Understandable. You might be wondering how Waitrose couldn’t have seen this coming, especially since it’s not the first time it’s happened. Just look at campaigns like the #McDstories one, which attracted a wave of comedic and nasty stories about bad experiences at McDonald’s, or one of my favourites; the campaign that “Exiled” rapper Pitbul to the most remote Alaskan Walmart. In my opinion, it was either a well thought out viral campaign, encouraging mass tweeting and resulting in coverage on major news websites such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Huffington Post, or an off the cuff tweet that spiralled into mass tweeting resulting in coverage on major news websites such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Huffington Post. There is no way on Earth the social media bods at Watirose went at this as a campaign that was going to result in lots and lots of positive feedback. What are your thoughts on this Waitrose social media campaign? Huge success or spectacular fail? Planned or Accidental?