Business Technology

House of Fraser launched Twitter campaign so strange that users suspected a hack

6 min read

02 February 2016

Former deputy editor

The start of a month can often mark the launch of a new strategy or campaign for a company. For House of Fraser it meant using Twitter to get “#Emojinal” in a series of tweets considered so strange that users of the social network were willing to put money on the retailer declaring a hack – it did no such thing.

In July 2015, House of Fraser was named among the UK retailers providing the best online experience for customers, nestled snugly in second place between Thomson and Tesco.

In a world where consumers have increasing options and decreasing patience, the firms were hailed for the rapid speeds of their websites.

Fast-forward several months to 2016 and the online omnipotence appears to have gone to the heads of those responsible for House of Fraser’s digital marketing.

In what could have been confused for April Fools’ Day, the department store kicked Monday 1 February off with a Twitter campaign dubbed #Emojinal. The hashtag trended on the social network, but mainly because people were bewildered with what the firm was attempting to accomplish.

Seemingly the campaign, which fused countless numbers of emojis into tweets and across celebrity images, was an attempt to invoke feelings of love and happiness ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Familiar faces unwittingly roped into the initiative included Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Chelsea FC’s John Terry, model Adriana Lima, One Direction, Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Read more on social media campaigns:

A microsite, www.emojinal.co.uk, is now live and acting as the home of an emoji-based quiz – the prize appears to be a ten per cent discount.

While the customer above appears to be happy with her award, the majority of the Twitter community appeared to be utterly bamboozled by the crusade and many users believed House of Fraser would declare a hacking scandal. 

Other Twitter users did not hold back when it came to sharing their thoughts on the campaign…

Delivering the final blows were these two users, with their ominous talk of destroying and ruining the brand’s image…

But what was your take on the campaign – genius or idiotic? Let us know.