Dignity happily traded for free things in Magnation promotion

Magnation, the purveyor of fine periodicals, has recently embarked on “its most revealing promotion ever” by offering customers that strip down to their unmentionables and head into one of the shops a reward for their brave exhibitionism. And, according to Sahil Merchant, the founder of Magnation and “chief magazineologist”, the promotion has been wildly successful, highly amusing and, given its unexpected popularity, nigh-on financially catastrophic.

The rationale for the promotion was based on the fact that “the world is way too serious and lacking of genuine free lunches”. So, an antidote called ‘Undies Monday’, where anyone is able to walk into any one of the stores (including stores in Auckland) in their unge on a Monday and claim a free magazine, book or stationery item of their choice up to the value of $50, was devised. Of course. It makes perfect sense.

The promotion has been running throughout March and Merchant says he’s been surprised by the number of humans who seem quite happy to embarrass themselves if free things are offered as a reward for said embarrassment. As a result, the Undies Monday promotion went viral and the stores were over-run by opportunist exhibitionists (you can read about what happened, what the owners learned, see the photographic evidence and find out about the rules on the Magnation blog).

The rules have had to be firmed up a bit since the first installment in an effort to stop those filthy undie wearers from taking too much advantage of their generosity. But the stakes have now also been raised: the first guy to walk into any of the stores wearing women’s underwear gets two free products each to the value of up to $50 and the first girl to do the robot dance for 30 seconds while in her underwear also gets two free products.

Of course, offering customers a good deal in exchange for their dignity isn’t new: AJ Hackett used to offer free bungy jumps to anyone who ventured onto the plank without clothes, but it became too popular (plus, there must have been a fairly high staff turnover having to secure the cords onto the legs of nude, presumably unwashed backpackers and hairy men) and had to be stopped.

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