Waitrose faced embarrassment today when a social media campaign took an unexpected turn, itv.com reports.
The upmarket supermarket asked its customers to use the #Waitrosereasons hashtag on Twitter to tell them why they choose it for their groceries, however many social media fans decided to poke fun at the campaign by posting tongue-in-cheek responses.
One person wrote: “I shop at Waitrose because when the economy breaks down, those little green tokens will serve as currency.” Another wrote: “I shop at Waitrose because the smoked unicorn at M&S uses artificial colouring.
Many media outlets also tweeted about the social media strategy – saying although it had ‘backfired’ (with the number of joke responses far outweighing the serious), at least it had gained some awareness for the supermarket.
Media outlet The Drum also shared its opinion, calling it “a fail in term of the responses – but definitely good in terms of publicity.”
A spokesman for Waitrose told dailymail.co.uk showed that the retailer was taking the incident in good humour by saying the campaign had ‘certainly provoked a reaction’. It also thanked everyone for their genuine and funny tweets, adding that it likes to know the public’s views.
A similar social media fail occurred earlier this year when Snickers paid celebrities to make out-of-character tweets, followed by a follow-up message of the Snickers slogan of ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ and a link to the brand’s site.
This led to complaints of unfair advertising and resulted in Snickers being investigated by the Advertising Standards Agency, although it was eventually cleared.