At any moment in time, you can bet that the latest cause will be displayed on t-shirts sold to anyone willing to support it. It is just something we do in America. We have a long history of using t-shirts to do our talking for us. They work so well that they seem to be a natural fit for promoting a favorite cause.
From raising money for medical research to spearheading disaster relief after a major storm, t-shirts act as mobile billboards that speak the message loud and clear. What’s more, the cause in question doesn’t even have to be well known. A good t-shirt can take an obscure cause and make it a major headline. Here’s why:
1. Everyone Wears Them
If you were promoting a cause, you might find it difficult to recruit large numbers of people to carry signs or wear ribbons. But everyone wears t-shirts. The Great American t-shirt is part of our culture. So much so that it is easier to recruit t-shirt wearers to promote a cause than any other form of promotion.
2. People Read the Messages
Because t-shirts are such a cultural icon in this country, people actually take the time to read the messages on display. If you doubt that this is true, just ask the people behind the Plurawl LatinX clothing line based in New York City. One of the company’s missions is to promote genuine authenticity within the Latino/Latina community. They can virtually guarantee you that people read the messages on their t-shirts and hoodies.
3. People Expect Daring Messages
Along the same lines of reading t-shirt messages, people expect those messages to be daring. They expect to be challenged. The mindset goes way back to the first graphic tees that bands like the Grateful Dead sold at their concerts. Way back when, t-shirts were explicitly designed to push the envelope. Not much has changed.
This all translates well to being challenged by the cause of the day. That is the whole point of promoting a cause – to challenge people to get involved. The t-shirt is the perfect medium.
4. They Are Easy to Produce
Most people looking to promote a cause are also looking for an easy way to do so. T-shirts fit the bill. A graphic t-shirt is easy to produce with a minimal amount of hardware and a reasonable investment. You can buy blank t-shirts in bulk, then print them yourself. Those who do not want to get into printing can have the t-shirt company handle it for them pretty cheaply.
5. They Represent Cost-Effective Marketing
Speaking of producing t-shirts cheaply, that’s a big plus for any organization with a limited marketing budget. Organizations looking to promote a cause could spend thousands of dollars on a limited amount of signage. It could invest heavily in online ads, print adds, and local advertising spots. The same amount of money could purchase a whole lot more value by being invested it in t-shirt promotion.
Simply put, t-shirts give you more bang for your buck. When you are looking to promote a cause on a limited budget, it’s tough to do better than t-shirts.
Chances are you have seen a cause-promoting t-shirt recently. If not today or yesterday, then at least within the last few weeks. There are always causes to promote. There is always support to garner. And as long as both exist, t-shirts will be used as a vehicle. To not take advantage of t-shirt promotion is to ignore one of the easiest, most effective, and cost-efficient promotional tools in modern culture. That is just the way it is.