Is The USPS More Likely To Lose Boxes Emblazoned With The Word ‘Atheist’?

Where did they go?

Where did they go?

Here’s something odd. Would you think that packages would get lost more or less often according to the brand on the box or the words on their packaging? That shouldn’t be the case. A German company that sells handmade, minimalist shoes, did a cool branding thing and uses tape with the company’s name printed on it to seal their shipping boxes. That company’s name? “Atheist.” They noticed that a lot of packages sent to the United States were significantly delayed, and wondered why that was. So they conducted an experiment. That experiment proved that if you want a package to get lost, brand it with the word “ATHEIST.”

179 packages went out to 89 different recipients in all but one of the 50 states. (One of the recipients must live and work in different states, or have two homes.) All of the boxes left Berlin on the same day, so each person should have received both boxes on the same day, right? Nope!

On average, boxes with the branded tape took three days longer to get to the recipients. Ten packages total disappeared, but only one of them had the un-branded tape. Nine had “ATHEIST” tape.

If they were to run this experiment again, they could try shipping half of the boxes with tape marked “ATHEIST” and half with a totally neutral word, like the word “SHOES.”

Study [Atheist Berlin]