Pop culture or major media events often influence peoples spending habits in weird ways, it’s called advertising or something. But sometimes these sales boosts are a little, odd or unexpected, here are 10 examples.
10. Bow Ties
Dr. Who wears a bow tie, an antiquity throwback to a simpler time. And it’s cool when he does it because being cool is about straying away from trends to define your own style. So of course everyone went out and bought one after seeing the show, because apparently nothing is cooler than a person who’s only doing something because it’s popular. That’s why all the coolest people dance to Gangnam style despite not understanding that PSY wrote it to poke fun at posers. Keep it real guys!
9. Spending Increases
A strike is a long standing symbol of solidarity against the machine, the working man’s way of telling big business to stick it. On the other hand it’s also a day off, and is there really a better better way to stick it to the government than by giving them millions in retail sales? I didn’t think so. Amazingly, that’s exactly what happened in Britain during a public sector strike, which as well as causing an economy boost, barely affected any service at all. When your strike actively makes people’s days better and makes the government more money, you may want to consider another course of action.
8. International Travel
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was the cause of much national pride in and around Britain. So much so that thousands of British people took advantage of the free days off to get the hell out of the country and leave the gawking to the tourists. After all, nuts to national pride when you can be looking at nubile foreign people instead of working. The surge happened because the wedding coincided with another national holiday, meaning a person could technically only book 5 days off work and still have a two week holiday. Wow, the queen really can do anything, even bend time.
7. Titanic Memorial Cruise Bookings
The Titanic sunk and regardless of how safe sailing is these days, sailing and nautical endeavors are shrouded in superstition. Even without considering that, who the hell watches a TV show about a boat that sank and killed thousands of people and thinks, “You know what I could go for right now? A sailing trip that follows that exact route”. In fact the 100 year anniversary of the disaster saw a huge boost in everything Titanic related, up to and including sailing. That’s not tempting fate, it’s punching it in the face. It’s like they only watched the part in Titanic where people got naked, not the part where people died horribly.
6. Tourists to Kazakhstan
Collectively, the nation of Kazakhstan was massively offended by Sacha Baron Cohen‘s protrayl of their country, customs and people, so much so they considered suing the hell out of him. Apparently though, the rest of the world wasn’t and despite the country being shown as a rank pit of racism, people wanted to check it out. The country actually saw such a spike in tourism that they came out and actively thanked Cohen for sending so many people to their country, presumably before beheading a chicken and accusing the cameraman of stealing their soul.
5. Netflix Subscriptions
At the time of writing this Hurricane Sandy is beating the crap out of America and as a Brit, I extend my condolences for any damage and grief it causes. However, despite being a time when you’d expect most people to be glued to their TV sets or the weather channel, just waiting for news, any news, it just so happened that a lot of Americans decided to ignore the weather and watch movies* instead. Netflix saw in total a 20% increase in use for two days, presumably because of the disruption to regular TV and not the more depressing scenario that people simple stopped caring.
* Please insert your own Twister, Perfect Storm, Day After Tomorrow joke. I physically couldn’t bring myself to write one. Sorry.
4. Fruit Ninja
David Cameron, as the de facto leader of the UK, is a busy man with a job too complicated to make fun of. He’s also a man who plays Fruit Ninja, and when he requested a special app to track stats related to unemployment and what not, it was revealed he was addicted to the aforementioned game. That’s actually pretty awesome; the leader of my country has awesome ninja skills along with the razor sharp wit all British people are blessed with. That’s really cool. Well I better check how people reacted to finding out one of the most powerful men on Earth played Fruit Ninja? Wait, almost no one bought it. Wow, that’s just depressing. Man, my country sucks.
3. Gun Permits
Regardless of your stance on gun control, if James Eagan Holmes had ran into that screening with 6 knives it would have been a very different and almost certainly less sad story. That said, just days after the shooting took place applications for people to get their own guns were up almost 50%, because if there’s one thing guaranteed to make the world a safer place, it’s more guns in the hands of paranoid people. The issues surrounding gun control are complex and numerous, and are currently being argued about by smarter people than any of us behind closed doors. However, I look forward to seeing all the well thought out rebuttals in the comment section.
2. 50 Shades of Getting Freaky, Literally
If you’ve not read 50 shades of grey*, you should because it’s hilarious. That said, I still refuse to capitalize the title because doing so legitimizes it as an art form and I don’t want to do that. Despite being criticized as one of the most poorly written novels of recent time and the fact it approaches BDSM with all the subtlety of a brick to the face, sex toy sales shot up 400%. There you have it folks: all women want really degrading sex just all of the time, they were just too embarrassed to admit it. But still, jeez! The last thing to cause a spike in freaky sex and potential injuries that big was the pop up version of the Kama Sutra. (That’s a real thing by the way, look it up!)
*Editor’s Note: I really wanted to capitalize this, really. No matter what you think of the series, the lack of proper capitalization is slightly tortuous. The things we do here for our writers!
Shawarma is a weird kind of spiced meat served in a pita bread. The fact I had to Google what it actually was speaks volumes about it’s pop culture penetration. Before the Avengers movie, most people, like me, weren’t even aware that shawarma was a food, let alone knew what it tasted like or whether it was heavy enough to beat a man to death with. But here’s the weird part that got it the number 1 spot on this list, Tony Stark mentions that he’s never tried it. Not that it’s nice, not that it’s healthy or tasty or even that eating it will make women want to touch you in a sexual way. Just that he’s never tried it and always wanted to and thousands of people on that line alone decided to do exactly the same thing. Who says advertising doesn’t work?