Sunny Co Clothing - how 2 students made $240k and gained 750k Instagram followers within 24h (9 min read)

Sunny Co Clothing - The small Instagram account with 7k followers, announced a giveaway of their $64.99 worth swimsuit, to anyone who reposted and tagged their photo, within the next 24 hours.

?Strategy & Tools

Sunny Co Clothing History Timeline Highlights


  • May 3rd, 2017 - 2 students, Alan Alchalel and Brady Silverwood posted a picture to their Instagram fan page with a giveaway deal

  • May 4th, 2017 - they "sold" 50k of swimsuits, gained over 745k new Instagram followers, and 600k dollars from the shipping costs

Free + shipping model

The giveaway told people that they could get a $64.99 worth swimsuit for free. All they needed to pay for is shipping, which sounded reasonable.

Let's see the numbers behind it:
People were paying $12 for shipping
The total cost of a single swimsuit was about $7,20, including:

  1. $3/piece - You could get the same swimsuit on Alibaba - if you negotiate a quite large order (50k in this case)
  2.  $3/piece - Costs of shipping across the U.S.
  3. $0,50/piece - Factoring/branding
  4. $0,70/piece - Processing fees 


  • $12 - $7,20 = $4,80/piece
  • $4,80 x 50,000 = $240,000

Attractive product

The photo and the swimsuit looked exceptionally well. 
The professional picture was taken with a model wearing it on.
The price for the swimsuit on the website was $64.99 - that was the perceived value for the swimsuit

Product niche

How often do women purchase swimwear for themselves?
34% of women from the U.S. buy swimwear at least once a year
7% at least once in six months
2% at least once every month


To get the swimsuit for "free", all people needed to do is just to repost the @sunnycoclothing picture and tag them. They needed to do it within 24 hours.


Yearly Trend
May is one of the best months in a year to sell swimsuits. The summer is just behind the corner.
The second-best month in a year to sell swimsuits is February. Students are preparing for the spring break.
See it here

A limited time offer makes the swimsuit even more important and valuable. It makes the customers act now, because the same deal might not happen again.

Bargain mentality
People are hunting for the thrill of a bargain. They’re craving that feeling of being a successful shopper. They want the thrill of feeling like they scored a big victory.

Why Free works?
People change their behavior when something free comes along.
Free isn’t just a price. It’s a very powerful emotional trigger.

  • Zero Price Effect
    When customers pay for something, they calculate the risks of any dissatisfaction they might get from that product.
    They have no expectations of free products, whatsoever.
    Free things are considered to have a higher value because the risk of dissatisfaction and value for money is eliminated.

  • The Reciprocity Principle
    People pay back what they've received from others. 
    In this case, the free swimsuit felt like a reward to customers. That's why they felt obliged to pay for the high shipping costs.

?Last few words

It isn't 2017 anymore. More and more people are sceptical when they read the word "free".
Excessive advertising of free webinars/e-books and other rewards have made the word "free" unsexy - the word "free" is among the SPAM trigger words

But if you play it appropriately the "Free" products will still work.
You need to give a good enough reason to be free so that consumers are attracted to the deal instead of the motives of the free deal, in the first place.

Free products not only improve the consumers’ overall perception of the business, but it also serves as a great way to acquire new customers using the principle of reciprocity. 

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