The hype was sent into overdrive when a holiday request was accidentally forwarded to thousands of tweeters employed by Arcadia, a high street retail group. The tweeting blunder was executed by a security guard named Greg Heaslip, who works for this company.
When Greg Heaslip emailed his boss asking for two days leave for a trip to Chessington World of Adventures with his wife and small daughter, he had no idea what a fuss he would have created. When thousands of co-workers accidentally received his email in a tweet, the matter went viral. Arcadia employees rallied to support Heaslip in an effort to persuade their employer to grant the holiday.
Surprisingly, the hashtag #GiveGregTheHoliday quickly became the hottest topic trending on Twitter. Supporters actually seemed to give Greg’s holiday request precedence over the European Election results.
This show of support spurred several marketing campaigns as numerous brands began sending Greg a plethora of freebies. This stockpile of gifts included a Halfords bike, a TrekAmerica holiday to Las Vegas, and V05 hair products.
Rather than enjoying the viral sensation he had created, Greg was in the dark – literally. While his holiday became the topic of millions, Greg was sleeping in preparation for another night of guard duty at Arabia.
Upon discovery of the Twitter storm he had created by accident, Greg donated all of the gifts he had received to charity. He was also quoted as saying,
“All I wanted was my two days off and now I’ve got them. I’m going to go to Chessington World of Adventures with my wife Edyta and our 20-month-old daughter. I don’t want any of the free stuff. I’m going to donate it all to the Stephen Sutton charity so it goes to a good cause.”
Chalk this experience up to a happy ending for Greg. His Arcadia employer granted the two day holiday and Chessington World of Adventures rewarded Greg a complimentary VIP stay. Perhaps this is a fair trade for all the free advertising they received during the Twitter explosion, thanks to a night shift security guard who wanted some quality time with his family.
Have a great holiday, Greg!