Art and Entertainment

Three wolf moon, tee shirt
Amazon.com

“Three Wolf Moon” T-Shirt Goes Viral, Makes Money

June 02, 2009 07:00 AM
by Rachel Balik
After one Amazon customer mockingly called the shirt a “babe magnet,” online commentary significantly boosted sales, in a rare example of an online viral sensation actually turning a profit.

Howling Wolves Achieve Fame Through Word of Mouth

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The “Three Wolf Moon” T-shirt phenomenon started in November, when a user posted a cheeky comment on Amazon about how the shirt was making him a hit with women, despite his “girthy frame.” Other users on Amazon joined a comment thread, making jokes about how the shirt cures cancer and becomes part of one’s soul.

The thread has close to a thousand comments on it, says ABC News, spurred on by a comment that Rutgers student Brian Govern posted as a joke. He does not even own the T-shirt himself, but thanks to the popularity of his and others’ comments, it is the number-one piece of clothing sold on Amazon.
The “Three Wolf Moon” T-shirt has been so popular that a spokesperson for Amazon has joked that the company cannot guarantee the shirt’s “magical powers” or ability to attract women, The Associated Press reports.

The company that makes the shirt, The Mountain in New Hampshire, could not be happier by the tremendous boost in sales. But designers there are also wary of the snide, irreverent tone that permeates most comments. While the art director called the Amazon thread, “freaking hilarious,” the company insists that some people like the shirt because it portrays animal and nature, notes the Chicago Tribune.

The shirt has its own Facebook page with almost 700 members. A recent commenter wrote that he and his wife both owned the shirt, and expressed the wish that they could purchase one for their infant. For Amazon, the sensation provides more evidence about the financial power of product reviews.

Related Topic: Other viral sensations

The “Three Wolf Moon” sensation is an anomaly because it is an Internet viral sensation that has proved quite profitable. Typically, it has been difficult to monetize other viral sensations.

Online videos have been the most popular phenomenon of this type in the past; for example, despite the recent online hype surrounding “Britain’s Got Talent” star Susan Boyle, producers failed to profit from it. Boyle’s performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” was the fastest-growing Web video in the past five years; a deal with YouTube, which hosted many copies of the video, could have been worth almost 2 million dollars; however, but producers of the show and the company in charge of the official video upload failed to come to terms with YouTube.
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