There were more than a few titters on Twitter following Waitrose recent attempt to engage with their customers using the hash tag #WaitroseReasons.

The supermarket giant tried to harness the power of Twitter in a bid to get people talking about their brand by asking for people to finish the sentence; “I shop at Waitrose because…”

And oh boy… it worked. There was a mass of activity, proving that no one should underestimate the power of the internet and the reach of social media.

My belief is that the marketing team at Waitrose had hoped for positive tweets to be spread far and wide. Tweets that would support their great customer service and quality products at affordable prices.

They have been driving hard at getting their message across to demonstrate they compete with others such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s on price.

The campaign went viral. But did it back fire? Some people believe so.

Instead of glowing reviews, they found them selves subjected to ridicule and
positioned squarely as an upper middle class, expensive place where one can
procure unicorn food, larks tongues and organic Faberge eggs…

Perhaps it was a very clever strategy. There are many people in marketing that feel it was a stroke of genius to attract so much attention, arguing that it had created valuable publicity for a very low cost. Most of the tweets were in fact very amusing.

There have been plenty of misjudged social media initiatives such as that of the
McDonald’s hashtag #McDstories. Tweeters used the tag to tell their own horror
stories, including customers vomiting, people finding fingernails in their food and worse…
My feeling is that it was a bit of a cock up… and they got off light…

One of my favorite tweets – which I’m sure we’ll see on T-shirts very soon… “Put that papaya down, Orlando!”

Many tweeters had fun with this – here are just a few that I loved:

In fairness, Waitrose did well with their response and took the tweets in good humor tweeting;

“Thanks again for all the #waitrosereasons tweets. We really did enjoy the genuine and funny replies. Thanks for making us smile.” Good recovery…