Getting Attention With Controversial T-Shirts May Be Effective, But Is It a Good Idea?
One of the best ways to raise visibility for any given issue is by using controversial t-shirts. Sometimes this is unintentional as a store is caught selling a shirt with an image or a message that is insensitive and there is an outcry to have it removed. A more common instance is for an artist or group to intentionally create a shirt that is offensive to gain exposure by utilizing that age old adage “any exposure is good exposure”.
Well, that’s not always the case — just ask the owner’s of Solid Gold Bomb, who recently closed their doors due to a tasteless tee campaign. You can read the full article about them here at CNNMoney.
Shirts are a particularly effective way to promote a message since they are easily seen in public and people can wear them to any number of busy areas. They can also attract extra attention with their actions to make sure the message on the shirt gets as much visibility as possible. T-shirts are particularly popular as away of making a social statement as they are easy to make; especially with online t-shirt creating tools like the one here at www.funkytshack.com — consequently making controversial t-shirts much more prevalent. The t-shirt is the ultimate in quick and inexpensive social marketing.
For anyone wanting to make a custom t-shirt on their own there are a variety of materials available in almost any store or online that can be used to create a single shirt with a specific message. Those who want to start a trend can have a local printer make a limited run of controversial t-shirts that do not cost much. If people are willing to pay for the shirt and support the message, then this becomes an especially attractive way to get a message to a community. This is an effective strategy for a community group or local organization that wants to raise awareness of an issue. It is even a popular way to raise funds to support a cause.
Printing t-shirts to sell as keepsakes or souvenirs has excellent potential to help bring in donations. It will also raise awareness as a wider network of people will be exposed to the message, but you walk a fine line when piggy backing off of a controversial message. It may gain you great exposure, but often times with negative repercussions for the business associated with the message like Nike’s “gold digging” shirt shown in this post. Any time a company gets in the news for pulling an insensitive product from its shelves, there is always an increase in the number of people making their own controversial t-shirts. Just be careful that the message doesn’t diminish business.