Being your authentic self online isn’t always easy. Sometimes, these acts of self-expression attract attention from nasty people. But when you put yourself out there, you might be surprised to find affirmation from a community of strangers around the world. You might even receive support from an attentive global brand.
Over the course of a few days, all of these things happened to Thea Lauryn Chippendale (@theachippendale).
It started when 20-year-old Chippendale ventured into the world of online dating. She created a profile featuring her name, age and photos that best captured her personality and beauty. One such photo was a head-to-toe shot of her in a pale pink midi dress from the fashion brand ASOS.
Then, she met “George.” In their first conversation, things got ugly. George mocked Chippendale and insulted her fashion sense: “Not gonna lie you’re a bit of a joke but that dress in the last photo isn’t doing you any favours…”
Chippendale stood her ground but George continued: “GROW UP! And shop somewhere decent! Thanks. Hope this helps.”
Now, Chippendale had a choice. She could have deleted her dating app or kept the exchange to herself, but instead she shared about it on Twitter, where she later made thousands of connections with people who lifted her spirits and attracted the attention of the brand at the center of it all.
Within days, Chippendale got over 107,000 likes, almost 9,000 Retweets and hundreds of positive replies from people on Twitter.
Some, like @_princxss__, suggested that the problem was with George and not Chippendale:
And, of course, there were compliments galore, aimed at Chippendale and her sharp fashion choices.
But most notably, people wanted to know where Chippendale had purchased the now-famous dress.
Three days after Chippendale posted her Tweet, she received a reply from @ASOS: “Here’s to finding our perfect match. Thea babe, let’s talk. Check your DMs…”
The next day, the brand took to Twitter to reveal that they added Chippendale’s photo to the dress’s product page.
ASOS’s “last laugh” Tweet would earn the trust of the consumer – both current and new.
Some people, like @Alicejpx, were delighted to see ASOS had featured what the dress looked like on a consumer as opposed to a model.
Others, like @davidiwanow commended ASOS for stepping in and doing “the right thing.”
After the dust settled, a Twitter commissioned study found that 90% of people who engaged with @ASOS on Twitter during this time had not done so in all of 2019.
If there is one thing we’re sure about, it’s that when you’re on Twitter, you’re standing with an army of thousands who will lift you up (and tell you how awesome you look doing it). The message of acceptance and encouragement is even more powerful when brands get involved.
The people who replied to @ASOS’s Tweet reinforced the idea that brands can garner positive attention when they start with their customers on Twitter. In fact, @ASOS received more Google searches that day than they had in a year, sending a message to marketers that it pays to speak up and be part of social movements.