Written by: Jessica D’Amelia
Yup, there it is again. The infamous red bathing suit that was all over your Instagram feed on May 3rd. If your day was anything like mine yesterday, it probably went a little like this:
10am: You woke up thinking it was going to be a typical Wednesday. Classes to go to, tests to study for, and another meeting with a group to prepare for your final presentation. You do your daily run through of social media and notice that your friend Olivia (who has the blondest hair you’ve ever seen) posted a picture of a girl that was definitely not her on her Instagram. Sure, this seemed a little weird but as you do with most posts on your Instagram feed, you gave it a quick double tap and continued scrolling.
12pm: With one of two classes done for the day, you’re feeling pretty good. You stop by Marist Beach to check out what’s going on during activity hour and then head over to Hancock to get some work done. Before you get started, you check Instagram again and notice that another girl you follow posted the same exact picture of the girl in the bathing suit.
2pm: On your way to your next class, you do another quick scroll through social media. This is when things got REALLY strange. At least fifteen other people you follow posted the SAME exact picture of this girl in the red bathing suit. You get to class and start investigating. You click on @Sunnycoclothing which is tagged in the caption of every one of these photos and suddenly everything starts to make sense.
Sunny Co Clothing is a company run by Alan Alchalel and Brady Silverwood, seniors at the University of Arizona both studying business. As a way to promote their brand, they decided to offer one of their bathing suits that usually retails for around $65, for free to anyone who reposted their Instagram post and tagged their company in the caption. Before long, their picture was being reposted on millions of girl’s Instagrams with captions like, “Free bathing suit? YES PLEASE! @Sunnycoclothing” and “THANK U @Sunnycoclothing I needed a new suit!”.
With the sudden and overwhelming popularity of this post, people were quick to point out the possibility that this could be a scam or bad publicity stunt for the brand. While the jury is still out on whether or not Sunny Co will be able to follow through with the number of free suits they promised, it’s safe to say that they definitely mastered the use of social media marketing. The brand was incredibly successful at putting the right message (FREE bathing suit) in front of the right audience (millennial social media users) at the right time (the cusp of summer) to generate the right response (a LOT of free promotion for Sunny Co).
Not only did Sunny Co receive promotion on Instagram, but soon after the their post started going viral, fake Sunny Co twitter accounts were created and meme’s about the post began cropping up all over the internet.
The promotion brought a lot of traffic to their website as well, selling out all of Sunny Co’s bathing suits and a large chunk of their other merchandise.
Even though by the end of the day I was ready to delete my Instagram app for fear of stumbling upon the godforsaken red bathing suit picture again, I have to give major props to Sunny Co for killing the social media game and making their company trend nationwide. One can only hope to one day be as randomly successful as Sunny Co Clothing.