Did Abercrombie & Fitch really offer The Situation a deal not to wear their classic T-shirts?

As always, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) is being coy, making allusions to its beyond-loyal young-teen following and the back-to-school season. In the fair play of Web 2.0, social networking, and word-of-mouth it doesn’t matter. The key is :

  1. Provoke conversation
  2. Create  “mass mingling”
  3. Earn media time from Good Morning America and heavy hitters.

Google Trends highlights the buzz and reveals the mystery/opportunity of Web 2.0 non-marketing. (Read on as some suggest that it’s all smoke.) Compare the flatness of A&F to the Situation’s spikes.

Google Trends Abercrombie & Fitch vs. The Situation

The Situation beats A&F for buzz (7.18-8.18.11)

Is A&F sponging off The Situation’s high public trending as a non-marketing back-to-school campaign? According to street.com media critic, there’s a hefty dose of smoke and mirrors at work. Marek Fuchs suggests that A&F intended to distract the business community — financial news media, in particular — from poor performance reports issued on the very same day.

Listen in:

Here’s the financial backstory from thestreet.com: Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Can you spot the business objective?

Whatever the objective, you can see how Web 2.0 allows companies to create buzz from anything and everything that’s out there. Was this done with good intentions? It’s hard to know. Is this type of buzz bad for the A&F brand, ultimately? Let’s see what the Q3 reports say.

In the meantime:

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