The 'Thong Song' Made Victoria's Secret Sales Skyrocket, Sisqo Says

Everyone wanted that thong-tha-thong-thong-thong.

by Bettina Makalintal
Nov 27 2019, 7:25pm

Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect

Long before Victoria's Secret began its slow decline to irrelevance, with sales plummeting over this decade and its famous fashion show cancelled just last week, it was an exciting leader in the underwear market, known for its jeweled bras, brightly colored lace, and an endless, evolving array of colorful thongs.

Though thongs have been around since at least 42,000 BCE, according to Racked, they became a cultural icon of the late 90s and early 00s after a brief mention in the Clinton scandal's Starr Report in 1998 and, of course, Sisqo's unforgettable magnum opus the following year: the "Thong Song," which turned 20 earlier this month. And while the hit was a celebration of the butt-revealing undergarments, it was also a sales-booster.

In an oral history published by Def Jam yesterday, as pointed out by Complex, the rapper suggested that his ode to asses might have had something to do with Victoria's Secret's early 00s success:

"Once I realized how big the song was. I was like we need to go and talk to Victoria's Secret. But everything was moving so fast, it got away from us. By the time the song had blown up, we went to go have a meeting with Victoria's Secret. They were like, 'As much as we love the song, and you seem like a great guy... but thong sales have already gone up 80%.' They had got their bag already. But fast forward 20 years later and we laughed all the way to the bank too."

And who knows? Perhaps the opportunity isn't dead yet. With the Victoria's Secret fashion show proven to be lacking in "marketing significance," per Vox's The Goods, the company is now looking to focus on and evolve its digital marketing.

A Victoria's Secret x Sisqo collab wouldn't be that surprising, given the recent collab landscape. If that doesn't pan out, there's always Third Love, MeUndies, and all the other podcast-approved brands who are coming for Victoria's Secret's spot at the top.

victoria's secret