A plan to promote the Waitrose chain of supermarkets backfired spectacularly when Twitter users used the opportunity to write tweets that were less than complimentary about the stores.
Waitrose supermarket took to social media sites to ask people to complete the phrase: “I shop at Waitrose because…”
Instead of receiving flattering tweets from shoppers Twitter became inundated with comments from people that were posting comments that were more negative than positive with many referencing the fact that Waitrose is seen as an upmarket supermarket in the UK.
Some of the more unlikely answers to the phase included stating that they visited the supermarket because they enjoyed “watching Daily Mail readers support a neo-socialist institution” while other tweets were a little more light hearted including “I don’t like to be surrounded by poor people”.
Waitrose has a reputation for attracting more wealthy customers with a stereotypical customer being seen as a middle class mother with 2.4 children.
Twitter used by many as an outlet for their dislike of the Waitrose supermarket chain with only a small minorty of the tweets posted actually being from genuine customers wanting to pass on their views about why they shop at Waitrose.
Twitter user Ben Drage tweeted: “I shop at Waitrose because I want to prove to Jeremy Kyle that I am not a 21-year-old dole scrounging father of two.”
While GeeTee too to Twitter to say: “I shop at Waitrose because the toilet paper is made from 24ct gold thread. (Unless its the Essentials range)” and another Twitter user added: “I shop at Waitrose because it makes me feel important and I absolutely detest being surrounded by poor people.”
Users on Twitter even created their own hash tag for the social media joke with #waitrosereasons.
The effectiveness of the campaign by Waitrose can be seen from two different angles with many stating that the supermarket chain had misunderstood exactly how Twitter works and the potential for difficult responses. However, it could be said that any publicity is good publicity and the Twitter joke has helped to raise the profile of the supermarket – especially if they are aiming at wealthy middle class shoppers.
Waitrose appears to have responded to the Twitter joke in good humour though. Managers from the supermarket chain tweeted back to followers: “Thanks for all the genuine and funny #waitrosereasons tweets. We always like to hear what you think and enjoyed reading most of them.”