Runaway Holiday Hashtag Campaign: Lidl’s To Donate $260K in Christmas Dinners

Lidl Hashtag Campaign Donates Christmas Dinners (And Dessert) in BelgiumGlobal discount supermarket chain Lidl started a hashtag campaign to do some holiday social good – and may have been caught off guard when it quickly went viral.

The Twitter campaign – launched on Monday, December 10th – offered to donate five four-course Christmas dinners to food banks in Belgium for each tweet using the hashtag #luxevooriedereen, Dutch for “luxury for everyone.”

The company had been expecting to hand out about 1,000 of the meals (worth 20-euros each), according to Reuters.  After local newspapers picked up the offer and promoted it, people started retweeting the hashtag.

When the 24-hour campaign was over, 1500 people had tweeted – which meant 7,500 meals.  Amid rumors that the chain had been “caught out” by its campaign, Lidl rounded the number of meals up to 10,000 and “branded the campaign a success.”  That means a total bill of 200,000-euros ($260,000) for Lidl in donated Christmas dinners.

What’s on the menu for those benefitting from the donated meals?  Tomato soup, vol-au-vents (savory-filled puff pastry) with chips, an ice-cream cake and chocolates, according to a spokesman for Lidl.

The company spokesman said “We’ve learnt quite a few lessons over the past 48 hours, to say the least.” It’s not clear whether the company plans to repeat the campaign next year.

The hashtag campaign was quite successful, and it garnered a ton of media and public attention – though certainly not all positive.  Was this a good move for the brand?  See below for some mixed reactions from Twitter users, and then add your own to the hashtag.