The 'Instagram Egg' Merch Wars
#LikeTheEgg #EggSoldiers #EggGang
Do those hashtags mean anything to you? If so, you were part of the weird Instagram phenomenon that got a picture of a brown egg to be the most liked image in Instagram history.
If not, don't feel bad. The internet, in its eternal weirdness and infinite ability to create international crazes from seemingly nothing, decided to make an ordinary picture of an ordinary egg the most-liked image on Instagram, beating previous record-holder Kylie Jenner's 18 million likes.
The egg, using the Instagram handle world_record_egg, currently has more than 51 million likes on Instagram.
So, the obvious path for anything that seems to be so universally loved and known is to monetize it, right? Right!
The original "Egg Gang" merchandise store popped up with pretty on-the-nose merchandise: T-shirts that said "I Liked the Egg" in plain font.
More egg-related merchandise popped up on Etsy shops when people wanted to get in on the Instagram egg action, too.
But, because this is the year 2019, of course Amazon sellers had to push their way into things, too. A simple Amazon search for "Instagram egg" yields a ton of egg-related apparel, drinkware and what-have-you.
So far, the original Egg Gang hasn't appeared to take any legal action against third-party sellers looking to profit off the egg's fame. (Possibly due to the inherent difficulties in protecting a concept that is just a plain brown egg.) But the real merch wars are coming in the form of challengers to the brown egg's throne—namely, an Instagram picture of a black egg, whose masterminds will likely look to capitalize in the same way:
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Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post along with the most comments on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by world_record_egg (50 million likes) and Kylie Jenner (9.9 million comments)! We got this 🙌🏾 Tag your friends!!! #AllEggsMatter #EggGang #Egg #Egguality
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The real question is: How long will Instagram-egg-mania last? And, was monetizing the brown egg always the plan, or was it just some bored Instagram users who wanted to see how many likes they could rack up on what is arguably the most boring photo of all time?
Or, in other words: Which came first, the merchandising or the egg?