A well-known Boston clothing entrepreneur took the meaning of “cyber” Monday to a whole new level by hiring professional online strippers to offer web discounts on merchandise and promote online sales.
Using what he dubbed the “CyberKam,” Karmaloop CEO Greg Selkoe hired “cam girls” to live chat with his customers while they shopped in his online store.
“The company has hired a dozen real ‘cam girls,’ women who usually strip live on webcams for a living, to engage in a one-of-a-kind promotional event on Cyber Monday,” Karmaloop representatives said in an email.
Karmaloop, a Boston-based clothing company known for its urban appeal, got the women on webcam, strutting around in lingerie while holding plastic penises, offering random discounts to Cyber Monday shoppers.
Cyber Monday is the equivalent of “Black Friday,” but instead generates online sales for stores that don’t necessarily have brick and mortar spots.
According to a press release sent out by the company, Karmaloop said it was just upping “the ante” when it came to Internet purchases during the busy online shopping day.
“[We launched] a first-of-its-kind live e-retail marketing campaign,” the company said in a statement.
The Karmaloop “CyberKam” girls were scheduled to live chat with customers for 24 hours while running on the spot contests, performing live karaoke “and other crazy surprises.”
While the company said it was meant to “drive sales” and shock “the timid,” representatives said the admittedly racy parody “of the worldwide web’s darker corners” was a ground-breaking move.
Customers who follow Selkoe on Twitter, and who also shop at the online boutique, didn’t seem fazed by the “titillating” gestures and scantily-clad women on screen. (The above photo was about as PG as the Cyber Monday deals got when viewed by BostInno employees).
— Brandon Roberts (@_BrandonRoberts) November 26, 2012
Even some female followers who were looking to save some cash during the Cyber Monday shopping holiday didn’t seem too disturbed by the free web-cam show.
— Michelle Lucas (@nemo_skyscraper) November 26, 2012
A Twitter user by the name of “Sarah Jane” Tweeted at Selkoe, “should I give you all of my money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, trying to plan accordingly.”
On Instagram, however, the reactions told a different story. Karmaloop workers had been sending out photos of the females leading up to the Monday event, but the posts received a barrage of negative feedback, including many people telling Selkoe they were “unfollowing” his Instagram feed because they were offended.
Some of the comments being made towards the dancers offering up the free promotions while in their underwear were also a bit racier.
But pushing boundaries in the Boston scene is something that Selkoe has become known for, and it doesn’t sound like he minds the negative commentary that could come with pulling off a stunt like the one he hosted on Cyber Monday.
“Karmaloop likes to push the envelope so we thought we would do it in a risque and proactive way, it is satire,” Selkoe said in a statement.
Below are some photos posted to Instagram of the Cyber Monday event, which are not suitable for viewing while at work.