Nike proves that controversy can be a good thing (again), Forever 21 brings back a 1999 brand to much fanfare, a wholesome influencer turns out to be a marketing move, and more of what you need to know this week…
1. Nike’s Plus-Size Mannequin Controversy Is Actually Boosting Their Bottom Line
Nike rolled out expanded sizing in 2017, and last year added fuller sized mannequins to several London stores that sport their new products. Reception was initially positive, per Business Insider, but an incendiary Telegraph article argued, “The new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16…She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat.” The article, as likely intended, went viral, with Refinery29 explaining that the Body Positive generation is counter-arguing that overweight women can, and do, work out. Overall, the controversy is having a positive effect on the brand (a phenomena Nike has experienced before). British retailer Love the Sales reported searches for “Nike” and “Plus size,” as well as clicks on the mannequin’s leggings, have both spiked.
2. The Internet is Really Excited About Baby Phat x Forever 21
Remember Baby Phat? The nostalgic internet hasn’t forgotten, and they’re buzzing with excitement over the ‘90s brand’s comeback. Founder Kimora Lee Simmons teamed up with Forever 21 to launch a summer capsule collection (today!), reports BuzzFeed—and all things Baby Phat-related are racking up thousands of likes across social media as a result. The initial announcement video has over 1.25 million views, while Kimora Lee Simmons’ own video has over 390,000. Meanwhile, fans are sharing 1999-inspired throwbacks, like @Sauucyliz’s hot pink lip gloss application. @OhhLorren even lets the younger generation know that Baby Phat is “for the originals” and they better “continue onto that hot Cheeto collection.”
3. The Wholesome Construction Guy Is Really A Marketing Stunt
Omar (aka @justaconstructionguy) has taken over Instagram, accruing over 434,000 followers in a matter of days. But he’s not your typical influencer; in fact, BuzzFeed News calls him an “anti-influencer influencer” who pokes fun at influencer tropes. The account blew up when popular meme account @middleclassfancy tagged Omar in a tweet screenshot. (Remember how much power we said meme accounts have?) The since-hidden tweet by @barbzlovescarbs claimed, “My dad asked me what an influencer was…And after I explained, he said ‘Pshh, I could do that.’ Well…he did.” However, Cuvee Coffee has thrown a wrench into the internet’s wholesome embrace of the accounts’ origins. The account itself is a marketing stunt, meant to promote the small coffee shop. But the overwhelming popularity of the “anti-influencer” signifies that young consumers are interested in some different content in their feeds.
4. HBO’s Chernobyl Causes Spike In (Disrespectful) Instagram Tourism
HBO’s Chernobyl is so popular that it’s driving viewers to visit the original site of the 1986 nuclear disaster—much to the chagrin of the internet. Mashable reports that the area has seen a tourism spike that has people posing at the location as if it wasn’t the site of an historic tragedy. According to BuzzFeed News, @komacore’s compilation of selfies and half-naked shots caught the show creator’s attention, who replied “Comport yourself with respect for all who suffered and sacrifice.” Business Insider adds that the internet is giving an especially hard time to influencer Julia Baessler, who, despite claiming she visited for the sake of science, not the show—might want to rethink her posts.