What is Victoria's Secret?
Kat Copeland, Ann Poochareon, Josh Nimoy and I created whatisvictoriassecret.com to generate a meme targeting media representation of the female body. According to our site, Victoria's real secret is that she's bulimic. A successful meme propagates virally from person to person becoming "contagious media," so we did nothing to actively promote or publicize our website other than send the link to our closest friends. In less than two months, however, whatisvictoriassecret.com drew 71,182 unique visitors, was featured on the television show "Celebrity Justice" and gained the attention of the Victoria's Secret legal department (though we considered that a sign of success, the homepage initially featured a prominent disclaimer, and the site was ultimately pulled down).

  • generated meme concept based on what we thought stood the greatest chance of spreading virally (in this case: culture jamming, implied criticism of large corporation, shock value, an idea many people could identify with).
  • held photo shoot in the Algonquin Hotel using both digital and 35mm camera. Documented the photo shoot on DV.
  • mirrored the Victoria Secret website, replacing the images of Victoria's Secret models with dynamically rotating images from our "bulimia" photoshoot.
  • regularly analyzed site traffic metrics.
  • negotiated with the Victoria's Secret legal department.

    HTML, PhotoShop, JavaScript.

    where & when
    Interactive Telecommunications Program, New York, NY.
    Spring 2003.

  • click thumbnails for screenshots
    * reached the top 10 on Blogdex.

    * exhibited at the Schmio Awards, New York, NY.

    * featured in segment on the television show "Celebrity Justice."

    * featured in segment on the Belgian television show "Cybercafe."

    * received the Coglione D'Oro (Golden Testicle) award from capnasty.com.

    * used as a case study by marketing sites such as: AdRants, MarketingWonk and Infonic.

    * exhibited in the 2003 ITP Spring Show.