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Three Wolf Moon is a t-shirt that was ironically made into one of the top selling apparel items on Amazon in 2009 after being inundated with tongue-in-cheek customer reviews.
Three Wolf Moon t-shirt was designed by Bulgarian artist Antonia Neschev and produced by The Mountain, a New Hampshire-based company that offers a variety of nature-oriented graphic tees. The Amazon product page received its first ironic review on November 10th, 2008, when reviewer named Brian Govern hailed the T-shirt as a magical product:
Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women.
Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the ‘guns’), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.
Customer Review Comedy
Three Wolf Moon is an example of an Internet phenomenon known as “customer review comedy”, which occurs when an online product page is inundated with humorous customer reviews. Examples of this include the Amazon review pages for Tuscan Whole Milk and a Laptop Steering Wheel Desk..
On January 7th, 2009, Body Building Forums member user787877877 posted a thread titled “Just bought a wolf tee (srs)”, to which member steve_nash replied with a link to the Three Wolf Moon Amazon page. On May 20th, a Facebook page titled “Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt” was created, which accumulated over 3,700 likes within the next three years. As of September 2012, more than 2,200 Amazon customer review posts have been submitted to Three Wolf Moon T-shirt’s product page.
News Media Coverage
On May 21st, the BBC published an article titled “Joke Review Boosts T-shirt Sales”, reporting that the shirt’s Amazon sales increased by 2,300% as a result of the ironic reviews and quoted Amazon senior manager Russell Dicker revealing that it had reached the top selling item in their clothing store. On the following day, The Washington Post published an article titled “It’s Made of 100% Cotton; Its Sales Are 99% Ironic.” On May 24th, The New York Times published an article titled “Think a T-Shirt Can’t Change Your Life?” A Skeptic Thinks Again", revealing that the original ironic reviewer Brian Govern was a student at Rutgers School of Law in Camden N.J. who created the review on a whim. The meme has spread on the image-sharing site Flickr, the microblogging site Tumblr and the social news site Reddit.
Several photographs of celebrities were photoshopped to appear as if they were wearing the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt.
On May 26th, 2009, YouTuber Dr. Coolsex uploaded a Three Wolf Moon music video, which parodied of “Colors of The Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas soundtrack. Within three years, the video accumulated over 388,000 views and 800 comments.
College Humor Parody
On November 19th, 2009, a short comedy skit titled “Twilight: Three Wolf Moon” parodying the Twilight films debuted on CollegeHumor.com (shown below), which starred Parks and Recreation actress Aubrey Plaza.
Parodies and tributes to the original Three Wolf Moon t-shirt design began to circulate on the microblogging service Tumblr, featuring various pop culture icons, celebrities and videogame characters.
New York Times – Think a T-Shirt Can’t Change Your Life? A Skeptic Thinks Again
The Washington Post – It’s Made of 100% Cotton It’s Sales Are 99% Ironic
The New York Times – Think a T-Shirt Can’t Change Your Life? A Skeptic Thinks Again