Chinese shoe company tricks people into swiping Instagram ad with fake strand of hair
Dec 15, 2017 · 2 min read

A word of advice: “Always blow, never swipe”

Image for post
Image for post

A cunning Chinese company has received both props and scoffs for a devious Instagram Stories advertisement featuring a fake strand of hair over some heavily discounted sneakers.

Designed to make you believe that there is a real strand of hair on your phone (ewww!) and thus have you swipe the screen, bringing you to the company’s website, the advertisement was created by Chinese sneaker manufacturer Kaiwei Ni. In a company profile, Kaiwei Ni is described as an “integrity first” company that has passed Alibaba’s (very stringent) standards for certification.

It’s not clear what the company believed would happen once someone was tricked into visiting their website, though 80% off some fake Yeezys does sound like a pretty sweet deal.

The ad was posted onto Twitter earlier this week by venture capitalist Blake Robbins who apparently got it from a popular post last month on the r/mildlyinfuriating subreddit. Robbins’ post was noticed by tech news website The Verge, which forwarded the image along to Instagram itself.

Instagram wrote back, saying that the ad had already been taken down weeks ago and the company’s account banned from ever advertising on its platform again. So, it appears that Kaiwei Ni’s plan may have backfired a bit.

However, the ad will at least live on in the memories of those who saw it. “Not even mad, that’s amazing,” one Reddit user commented. “Brilliant, actually. I love good design,” echoed another.

Finally, one more Reddit user leaves us with some important words to live by: “Always blow, never swipe.”


China in bite-sized portions

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store