Sunny Co. Clothing: A Viral, Sharing Failure

Concepts

Virality
Sharing
Close/Distant Friends
Influence

Summary

Nahon & Hemsley identified aspects that help a post go viral while using examples such as Susan Boyle, and also talks about how prior relationships (i.e. interest networks) can determine/influence how a viewer looks at content online.

Quotations

“Key to their perspective is the idea that messages, which spread organically from one consumer to another, are more influential than advertising messages.”
“Since most of the content that goes viral is in the form of some kind of information, we think the people we are weakly connected to are more important in the spread of virality, though our close friends do play a role.”

Commentary

The first quote got me thinking of that recent “red swimsuit promotion” that failed by swimsuit company, Sunny Co. Clothing. For those who don’t know what happened, this company told their followers that EVERYONE who shared a certain photograph (the back of a women sitting by the pool who was in a red swimsuit, named “Pamela Sunny Suit”) on their personal Instagram pages and tagged the company, would get this suit free of charge. Given that the suit retailed for $64.99 (+ shipping & handling), many people took part and this eventually spiraled out of control.
By doing this promotion, they had gotten people to notice this company and I know one my good friends, specified in her post that she had gotten this from a friend of hers as it spread from one person to another. When people saw that it was trending, other’s decided themselves to take part in it, resulting in meme’s.
In terms of virality, this company was hoping for some of that as they specifically asked people to post it on their personal Instagram pages but didn’t expect this much publicity as they were unaware of the amount of people who would take part in this promotion. This example just shows the bad side of virality especially on the part of an unprepared company. In the end, the company ended up having to do damage control and said they had the right to modify this promotion before deleting their Instagram account all together. I talked my friend about the promotion a week after it’s virality, asking if she ever got the swimsuit and she texted me back saying, “No LOL they shut down their insta hahaha wtf. nope fucking bogus”.

Question

Have you ever (re)posted something just because someone you knew had? Have you ever (re)posted something because it was trending?
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