Accidental Social Marketing

Perhaps you’re referring to the retail store…

John Lewis has long held a reputation for good marketing. Their saccharine sweet Christmas adverts are becoming a yearly tradition, sparking praise and parody in equal measure, both of which are good for the brand. This year however, there has been a different kind of marketing victory for the retail company, and it comes in the form of a social media mishap…

John Lewis Tweets

john Lewis Tweets

Meet John Lewis, an academic from Virginia and father of four who has been deluged with tweets from consumers of the British retail company. Rather than shutting down his account or changing his Twitter handle, John has been patiently responding to every question or comment that arrives on his feed from the great British public. This bemusingly helpful behaviour has “gone viral” with John’s follower count rising from 500 followers to over 7,000. The store John Lewis has finally got in touch with the man John Lewis to thank him for his helpful redirection of potential customers and to offer him a free present.

What a marketing gift this has been for a brand like John Lewis.

Most B2C brands attempting to forge a social media presence can only dream of achieving such a viral fillip and John Lewis gets one by good fortune, just in time for Christmas! Something vaguely comical yet ultimately endearing is exactly the sort of thing that makes a viral happening, particularly for British users. By joining in with the fun, and offering to give John Lewis (the man) a free present, John Lewis (the store) has managed to portray itself as a cool, cosy,  fun and caring institution. Something a lot of brands fail to achieve in a carefully orchestrated social media campaign.

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