Lady Gaga stans are truly some of the hardest working in the game. While I often find responding to emails or creating photo collages (things I am fully paid and required to do as a part of my job) insurmountable tasks, Lady Gaga stans — for free, without deadline — executed an elaborate fake Starbucks promotional campaign to scam "Shallow" all the way to #1 on Billboard's Top 100. All for the love of Gaga. Forget money, what have you ever done for love?
Giving Mariah Carey's gang a run for their money, intrepid Little Monsters created and started circulating around a remarkably convincing photoshopped Starbucks advertisement, promising a free drink voucher to Twitter users who post a screenshot of themselves streaming "Shallow" with the hashtag "#Shallowbucks."
I'm listening to #shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper! @Starbucks
Starbucks is celebrating Lady Gaga’s Oscar w… https://t.co/62Cc2cbLwJ
Little Monsters answered the call to help their queen, and began circulating the photo. Some who were in on the scam even staged fake DMs sent from Starbucks' check-marked account confirming the voucher and fake shots of the deal advertised on Starbucks' mobile app. As the final step of #Shallowgate (like fake sponconning baby influencers) stans went to Starbucks to purchase allegedly free frappucinos, to confirm to skeptics that #Shallowbucks were real.
omfg got my free drink #ShallowBucks https://t.co/RD5AFdasVK
— never really over sis ✊🏼 (@never really over sis ✊🏼)1551418977.0
guys check your starbucks app! its quicker! #SHALLOWBUCKS https://t.co/N31FazpHz0
So, just to be clear, is there a Little Monsters group chat? This coordination! The commitment! The finesse! The #Shallowbucks graphic appears to have been first shared on Thursday and — based on the number of hashtagged posts, though it's impossible to say who was in on the scam and who fell for it — had a good run before too many folks got laughed out of their local Starbucks, and the company clarified on Twitter, per screenshots captured by Buzzfeed.
No word on a groupchat, but the #Shallowgate was eventually claimed by an 18-year-old stan named Nico, who clearly has a bright future ahead of him in corporate marketing.
"Well since rumors of 'Shallow' possibly going number one on Billboard started I knew I had to do something to help her out with sales and streams but I didn't know just what to do at first," Nico told Buzzfeed. "Then one day when I was going home from school I passed by a Starbucks and got the idea last minute lol."
Nico said he's not in trouble with Starbucks yet (though I'm personally worried), but even so, it'll all be worth it if "Shallow" can make #1"
Unfortunately, Ari's "7 Rings" is still sitting securely at #1 (after a five-week streak), while "Shallow" ranks at #21, down from its spot last week at #18. But even if Nico can't get "Shallow" to number one, it's obvious with that kind of vision and work ethic, he is going to do great things for Gaga and the world.
UPDATE: Late on Monday, March 4, "Shallow" jumped 20 spots on the Billboard Top 100 to #1, marking Bradley Cooper's first #1 single — and Lady Gaga's fourth but first since 2011's "Born This Way." Congratulations to Gaga, Bradley, Nico, and all Little Monsters on this huge victory for ASIB and stankind!