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Creative T-shirt Printing: Thinking Outside the Wardrobe


T-shirts communicate. They are famous for political and cultural statements almost as much as they are fashion statements: do you really love NY and why is Frankie so relaxed?
We have already written about the huge promotional value of a printed T-shirt for your brand or company, but this versatile garment is more than just a portable billboard; it can also be a powerful marketing tool and has featured in some really creative campaigns. Now if you are thinking of starting your T-shirt slogan with “Keep Calm and…” or “I heart…” then stop. Just stop. Everyone has moved on from there. The cleverest ideas take the T-shirt one step further from seeing it as a canvas, simply printing a logo or message on the front, and present the T-shirt from a different perspective.
For the 2010 World Cup two dutch students developed the kind of T-shirt that made you say: “why didn’t I think of that?” It’s such a simple idea, resulting in a really effective outcome – similar Getafe’s Burger King home shirt – although I don’t think I am the only person who thought that was Wayne Rooney rather than Wesley Sneijder.

GLP Advertising and Design created this sweat measuring T-shirt as part of a marketing campaign for a personal trainer in Toronto. The idea is simple, measuring the time the athlete has been working out by the sweat marks created on their grey T-shirt. I’m not sure how accurate the time keeping is, but nonetheless it is an interesting idea and again presents the T-shirt in a different light.

Coca-Cola are expert marketers and, of course, the power of the T-shirt was not lost on them. The Wearable Movie was an entire animation played out on T-shirts, modelled by their employees all around the world. Confused? Take a look at the video and follow the journey from start to finish.

These tactics of taking something everyday, ordinary and relatively mundane and giving it a new personality or function is proving to be successful; the seemingly perpetual release ofviral vending machines being a good example. This medium also lends itself to the sharing culture of online marketing, with the idea that it is something unexpected and worth sharing.
I guess with their budget they can afford to be a little more extravagant than the rest of us. They always seem to be one step ahead of everyone when it comes to viral marketing though.

Sean Lee-Amies

I thought the football ones were pretty good, I guess it's not something you could do easily without running into IP issues though!