A social media campaign by Walkers Crisps has been axed after being hijacked by trolls.
The #WalkersWave campaign encouraged consumers to tweet in a selfie picture to be in with a chance of winning UEFA Champion’s League final tickets, after which a video is created automatically on the Walkers Twitter feed showing Gary Lineker holding up the picture, while the individual does a Mexican wave.
However, instead of uploading selfies, people have been sending in pictures of notorious serial killers and sex offenders. Walkers have since deleted all videos and issued a statement which read: “We recognise people were offended by irresponsible and offensive posts by individuals, and we apologise. We are equally upset and have shut down all activity.”
In an interview with Marketing Week, Jo Allison, consumer behavioural analyst at Canvas8, said she thought that there wouldn’t be any long-term damage to the brand regarding the offensive videos.
“Many people actually enjoy it when brands make mistakes and there is certainly a lot of buzz online right now revelling in the failing of Walkers to see this coming,” commented Allison.
“It’s certainly highly embarrassing for those behind the campaign but it would be foolish to think this will do any long-term brand damage. The absurdity lies in the naivety of the brand and not any malicious intent from Walkers. Most people will recognise that.”