If you’ve been on Instagram for any length of time, you may have seen the below viral photo of a girl wearing a red swimsuit. The red swimsuit has a deep cut in the back, and the girl wearing the red swimsuit sits with her back to the camera, as her legs dangle in a pool. In fact, the red swimsuit photo is so popular now that it has its own Instagram account, titled “Red Swimsuit,” as seen below.
The melee is all due to a campaign from Sunny Co. Clothing, a company that went viral by using a bit of an old-style marketing campaign, which promised red swimsuits for everyone who reposted the photo of the red swimming suit. Those wanting a “free” red swimsuit would only need to pay for shipping and handling. However, unlike the days when infomercials used the same marketing tactics, the Sunny Co. Clothing firm did not anticipate the power of social media to make things go viral.
As reported by KVOA, the original campaign from the now-deleted Instagram account of Sunny Co. Clothing read as is shown below, with Sunny Co. Clothing writing from Rancho Cordova, California, that “sharing is caring.” The now infamous photo of the girl in the red swimming suit by the pool was accompanied by a description that promised that everyone who reposted and tagged Sunny Co. Clothing in the 24 hours following the promo’s publication would receive their free Pamela Sunny Suit. The offer for the free red swimsuit was valid only in the U.S., and Sunny Co. Clothing wrote that their promotion would end on May 3, at 3 p.m. MST. They also wrote that folks had to pay shipping plus handling, and that their promotion was sponsored by @twarzerapp.
The instagram.com/twarzerapp account has also been deleted. After the 24 hours had expired, the promotion claimed that all those who reposted the photo of the woman in the red swimsuit and tagged Sunny Co. Clothing on Instagram would receive a code that the users would be able to utilize on the Sunny Co. Clothing website “for the free check out,” although it doesn’t specify what that “free check out” means.
Signing off the viral Instagram post of the girl in the red swimsuit with an “xoxo, Sunny Team,” it seems Sunny Co. Clothing could have benefitted from a lesson learned by entrepreneurs featured on Shark Tank, when they discuss issues like overwhelming product demand and the like.
On the Sunny Co. Clothing website, The Pamela Sunny Suit has a regular price of $64.99, with reports that the shipping and handling cost would have been $12.99. It’s not clear how many red swimsuits the Sunny Co. Clothing website actually has in stock, but a Facebook page attributed to Sunny Co. Clothing (but different from the Facebook page currently linked to at the bottom of their website) claims that they will try and make good on the first 50,000 red swimsuits they promised to give away with shipping and handling costs paid by the buyers.
“We truly had no idea the response was going to be so overwhelming and we are very sorry for any confusion. We will make our best effort to honor our offer for the first 50,000 orders placed on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. If you accidentally placed an order without using the discount code, we will refund you the price of the swimsuit. However, we will not be able to refund transaction fees.”
As reported by New York Magazine, some buyers are complaining that Sunny Co. Clothing charged them the cost of the red swimming suit along with shipping and handling fees. Folks are publishing complaints on the Sunny Co. Clothing Facebook page claiming that they need their money back and that it overdrew their accounts.
A friend of one of the founders of Sunny Co. Clothing, a University of Arizona student named Kate Wester, also said she entered the red swimsuit giveaway, but didn’t get a red swimming suit. Yet and still, Kate said that she hopes her friends can bounce back from the red swimsuit debacle. Alan Alchalel and Brady Silverwood had the best intentions when they launched the red swimsuit giveaway, plus the promise to give $1 from each order to a charity for Alzheimer’s research. With more than 100,000 entering the giveaway to get their own “free” red swimsuit, it’s clear this was one red swimsuit giveaway that got away from the business owners.
[Featured Image by MarcinK3333/Shutterstock]