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Irony worksUser reviews come in many shapes and sizes, but typically people either love or hate a product. It’s normally a simple black and white issue, as few people bother to leave reviews for mediocre products.

It turns out that this either/or thinking is plain wrong, and there is a third factor to consider: irony. And tongue in cheek reviews stand a better chance of going viral, at least judging by the success of the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt

The t-shirt, which features three wolves and one moon, has become one of the top sellers on Amazon, thanks to some classic one-liners and other more detailed reviews, with most written with an industrial-sized dose of irony. 

Here are a few of my favourites (there are 455 to choose from):

  • "Unfortunately I already had this exact picture tattooed on my chest, but this shirt is very useful in colder weather."
  • "Every night, for the past 6 weeks, I have been visited by 3 wolf sprirts. And every night, they bestow upon me endless amounts of knowledge and offerings of imitation crab meat."
  • "The Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt gave me a +10 resistance to energy attacks, +8 Strength, and added 30 feet to my normal leap. I cannot list the specific effects involving the opposite sex as I am still discovering these. And they are many."
  • "I had a two-wolf shirt for a while and I didn't think life could get any better. I was wrong. Life got 50% better, no lie."
  • "The second that these 3 Wolves touched my chest I benchpressed 5 meth labs and wrote an essay about moonlight. When I wear this shirt as pants I can run to Canada in only 42 days."
  • "I once ran into Chuck Norris at a bar. He noticed I was wearing this shirt and he ran away."

Not all reviews were positive…

  • "They SAY it's three wolves, but how do we know it's not the same wolf from three different angles? We cannot assume they'd be above airbrushing or the use of creative lighting just to save on wolves..."
  • "I'm beginning to believe that some of the benefits ---- as described by other reviewers ---- are exaggerated. For example, not ONE supermodel has approached me."

In response to that one-star review the company that created the t-shirt responded in kind:"We at The Mountain do not guarantee that you will become a magnet for super models. There is no governing the fate of one man to secure the kindred love of a like-minded mate for life while baying at the moon on a warm Summer's night; to the man who wears not the 3 Wolf Moon and stumbles through life on a path of loneliness of one forgotten by the mortals he walks among… we feel we deserve at least 3 stars from you."

The company did however take issue with some of the comments, saying that “We appreciate humor as much as the next company, but we don't approve of some of the Classist remarks that are being generated here… some say ‘Bad publicity is better than no publicity at all’. We however disagree if it's at the expense of others in a Classist, Racist or Prejudice manner.”

So there it is. Ironic reviews are a winner. 

And there I was thinking that the rise in popularity of animal t-shirts was linked to The Flight Of The Conchords…

Chris Lake

Published 22 May, 2009 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (5)

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Love it, great article to add a touch of humour to a Friday afternoon!

It is great how reviews are continuously being adapted by people to suit their own needs - reviews were intended to give evaluations of product/service but now people are using them as an opportunity to get their voice out there and have some fun.

This is exactly what social media engagement is all about, for me anyway. The wider community uses the services you provide to generate the content they want and share it with other. There is then an interaction as people feed of each other's vibe and build a story.

Online is starting to develop a personality and reflect closer the way we behave in the 'real' world!

Keep the articles coming.

Thanks

james

about 7 years ago

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RichSpalding

I caught this on Digg, and have to say it's hilerious. Also worth noting is the $500 Denon Cat 5 cable reviews, most citing extra abilities such as time travel, but the funiest being the cables' ability to suspend global warming http://tr.im/m61Z

about 7 years ago

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Ron Soon

OMG I wore a wolf shirt to bed and woke up with a super model, how this happened in Piscataway New Jersey is beyond me

http://tinyurl.com/wolf-reviews

I LOVE IT

about 7 years ago

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farouk

so does this mean that bad piblicity is really better than no publicity? am interested to know your opinion about that

about 7 years ago

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Antonio

Nice examples. Do you have the 455 comments that you mentioned? or do you know where can I get them? It's because I'm interested in studying irony and sarcasm. Thanks

over 6 years ago

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