- Sunny Co. Clothing opened up a swimsuit social promotion Wednesday that was as viral on Instagram as it was derided on Twitter, Time reported. The promotion encouraged users to share a photo of a woman in one of the brand's red "Pamela" Sunny Suits and to tag Sunny Co. for a chance to win a voucher for a free suit, usually priced at $65.
Sunny Co.'s initial Instagram post racked up more than 334,000 likes, per Time, and the overall promotion was successful enough that the brand suggested it might have to shut down the offer due to high volume and potential delivery delays.
But while Sunny Co. was seeing a brand awareness win on Instagram, Twitter was airing annoyances with the ubiquity of the 24-hour promotion, spurred on by a tweet from Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.
please stop posting the red bathing suit picture— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) May 3, 2017
One social platform's trending treasure is another’s spammy trash, as Sunny Co.'s "Pamela" marketing push demonstrates. Though it might be easy to rib the red swimsuit promo — "Where’s Waldo?" comparisons abound — the situation points to the unintended consequences that can affect a brand's image when a promotion or post goes viral, either on purpose or by accident.
Sunny Co. might have earned a lot of mindshare on Instagram, where trendy fashion photography is its own form of marketing currency, but drawing ire across Twitter isn't necessarily a good look, especially from a celebrity influencer like Biles, who has nearly 1 million followers.
Sunny Co. joins a long list of brands that have recently found themselves the center of attention for reasons perhaps beyond their control. Wendy's promised one Twitter user named Carter Wilkerson a year's supply worth of chicken nuggets if he could get 18 million retweets — a fairly unrealistic goal that was more playful than anything. But while Wilkerson's still far off from hitting that number, #NuggsforCarter became a social sensation, with the tweet itself breaking platform records.
#NuggsforCarter also spawned a trend where other brands were quickly bombarded with similar requests — that were understandably shut down — for free service and products in exchange for reaching certain retweet thresholds. Like the Sunny Co. promo, it served as an example of something that starts off as fun quickly souring in the court of public opinion as its social ubiquity grows.