While both real companies and internet hoaxers alike have created tasteless Ebola-themed Halloween costumes this year, it doesn’t seem anyone actually wants to buy them.
Tim Callan, chief marketing officer at SLI Systems, has an answer that suggests the zeitgeist-driven, often downright appalling costumes that make their way into the annals of internet infamy each year are a distinct minority.
E-commerce site search specialists SLI Systems tracked more than 80 million searches across 17 websites selling Halloween costumes between September 1 and October 26. They looked at holiday-specific stores, party purveyors and larger retail chains getting in on the annual action.
Data shows that costume shoppers are seeking far more wholesome options in 2014, with characters from Disney’s mega-hit Frozen the most-searched by a wide margin despite the film being almost a year old.
Online costume retailer Brands On Sale has put on sale its newest Halloween costume, the “Ebola containment suit”.
The $59.99 getup comes with a white, nurse-inspired dress, an “Ebola face shield,” a breathing mask, safety goggles and blue latex gloves. The faux leather yellow boots are sold separately.
“As the deadly Ebola virus trickles its way through the United States, fighting its disease is no reason to compromise style,” the description reads.
“The short dress and chic gas mask will be the talk of Milan, London, Paris, and New York as the world’s fashionistas seek global solutions to hazmat couture.”
The Brands On Sale’s Ebola worker costumes have caused a stir on social media.