June 13, 2011
Plenty of brands tie themselves up in knots when someone makes fun of them. Takedown notices, cease-and-desist letters or radio silence are common responses from companies that can’t take a joke.
Whole Foods smartly took the opposite approach with the hilarious “Whole Foods Parking Lot” video that blew up this week on YouTube. In the video, the group Fog and Smog skewers the upscale natural foods retailer and its organic-lovin’ customers.
Some of the lyrics hammer Whole Foods, including the line “Pay my 80 bucks for six things.” (Side note, when I lived in Whole Foods home state of Texas, my pal liked to call the chain “Whole Price Foods.)
Despite the dis, Whole Foods is laughing along with the rest of us. The company even helped spread the video to its nearly 2 million Twitter followers.
@chrispatyk We have and we LOVE it……on the floor laughing!
Whole Foods did the right thing, because fighting a viral joke would make the retailer look like a wet blanket. The company says it had nothing to do with the producing the video.
“We’ve all gotten a big kick out of this video and we love the creativity that went into producing it,” said Elizabeth Leader Smith, the national media relations coordinator for Whole Foods told the Today show. “It’s playful and entertaining. We are sharing it with our friends and team members and e-mails continue to pour in from those excited about it. We thank Fog and Smog for making us smile!”
It’s evident Whole Foods was ready to talk, laugh and share with its customers — long before the ‘Parking Lot’ video hit YouTube. The “Whole Story” is a great example of a site that shatters the boring company blog mold. The company also interacts regularly and honestly with consumers on Facebook (625,000 likes) and Twitter (more than 1.9 million followers on the main account).
Whole Foods was ready for something like this … and it shows.