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Social media goes wrong: ‘I shop at Waitrose because Tesco doesn't stock unicorn food’

2 commentsBy Mike Stones , 20-Sep-2012
Last updated on 26-Sep-2012 at 12:57 GMT

Superior unicorn feed was one reason given for shopping at Waitrose
Superior unicorn feed was one reason given for shopping at Waitrose

Waitrose got more than it bargained for when it launched a social media campaign inviting consumers to reply to its tweet: “I shop at Waitrose because …” The response varied from the cutting to the down-right hilarious.

The retailer – evidently regarded by some as the posh place to shop –  put a brave face on its apparently less-than highly successful social media campaign. It tweeted this week: “Thanks for all the genuine and funny #waitrosereasons tweets. We always like to hear what you think and enjoyed reading most of them.”

Here's a selection of the best tweets.

Inkognito: “I shop at Waitrose because Tesco doesn't stock unicorn food.”

Liza: “I like to shop at Waitrose because they have rotisserie swan.”

Katie: “I also shop at Waitrose because I was once in the Holloway Rd branch and heard a dad say ‘Put the papaya down, Orlando!’"

Katie: “I shop at Waitrose because it makes me feel important and I absolutely detest being surrounded by poor people.”

Herbkim: “Because every 100th bag of Waitrose salad comes with a cute frog inside.”

Paul Parry: “I shop at Waitrose because when the economy finally breaks down and dies, those little green tokens will serve as currency.”

Rob Manuel: "I shop at Waitrose because I got a lifetime ban from M&S after doing something obscene to a Percy Pig.”

Alistair Coleman: “I shop at Waitrose because ... 'you say ‘10 items or fewer’ not ’10 items or less’, which is important.”

J Courntenay Grimwood: “I shop at Waitrose because the smoked unicorn at M&S uses artificial colouring.”

Rys Wynne: “ASDA Value peacock feed isn't as nice.”

Barnaby Walter: "I shop at Waitrose as Tabitha and Tarquin only eat phoenix eggs that have been collected by wizzards who share their values."

Polly Courtney: "I shop at Waitrose because Clarissa's pony WILL NOT eat ASDA Value straw."

Majortom: "I shop at Waitrose because if you buy a full tank of helicopter fuel, you get 10% off champagne. It is a recession after all."

David McAndrews: "I shop at Waitrose because Jocasta simply WON'T eat any other supermarkets' sun-ripened quava."

NeilF@neilfranklin: “Self-defined social media 'experts' still don't realise engagement and humour is valid measure of success.”

The Drum: “Social media campaign finds people shop there for the unicorn food and 24ct gold thread toilet paper.”

The Media Blog: "Presumably 'backfiring spectacularly' was the main KPI [key performance indicator] for the @waitrose #waitrosereasons campaign. It's all talkability and buzz, right?”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Tesco was unable to tell FoodManufacture.co.uk whether or not the retailer planned to stock unicorn food in future. 

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2 comments (Comments are now closed)

What's the problem?

This article shows a clear lack of understanding of social media.

Brand managers have a choice between asking and talking to people or just ignoring them. If you only hear stage-managed positive responses, then you never learn, grow or understand your brand perception.

It was an open question inviting all kinds of responses and, unsurprisingly, it got all kinds of responses. That doesn't make it a failure.

If people don't shop at Waitrose or think negative things about it, then it's better to know. You can't please all the people and neither would Waitrose expect everyone to love it.

Some people will always be haters.

The campaign got people talking. It got more press coverage than you can dream of for free and it didn't do the slightest bit of harm to the brand because it didn't change people's perceptions for the negative.

There are over 22,000 pages indexed on Google relating to the hash tag and it was on the BBC.

You tell me the last campaign you ran that got such visibility? It got people talking about an aspirational brand and thinking about it that never have before. I'd say that was a successful outcome.

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Posted by James Moffat
05 October 2012 | 15h02

Waitrose target of jokes

Laughed out loud.

May be these tweets are taking a pop at Waitrose or its perceived typical customers.

But I think it is dangerous to take your self too seriously!

I hope Mr Waitrose can engage and join in the fun, plus point out their approach to value lines such as roasted swan.

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Posted by Kevin Clarke
21 September 2012 | 12h05

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