The online market for Tshirts is massive. Advertisements for tees are on all sorts of websites, from music ezines to newspapers. Many of the most popular websites on the internet are social networking and social media websites so it goes without saying that the potential for gaining new customers and increasing profits is huge on websites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and digg. A social media ad campaign is an essential part of selling one’s products today, and that includes t-shirts, a popular fashion item among teens and young adults.
One very popular website that sells tee shirts and advertises on social media has found a niche market in offering customizable Tshirts. When a company offers personalisable apparel, it allows consumers to interact with their purchases. This interaction can range from young artists wanting to see their work worn by themselves or others, to a new school of marketing campaigns by large companies. One British beer company recently launched their products by allowing their customers to customise their branded t-shirts with their own catchphrases. Over 3,000 shirts have been sold so far: it seems like a small number, but when those shirts are worn, that’s 3,000 walking billboards for the company.
This kind of innovative marketing is the perfect compromise between individuality and brand marketing: the brand allows the company’s products to be advertised, and the customisation feature allows the brand’s consumers or potential consumers to feel like they’re something different from the other thousands of people who have bought the same item. When consumers feel something they own is one of a kind, they are more likely to cherish it and use it more often.
All of this underscores that traditional business models have undergone a tremendous shift since the advent of the internet and other technological advances like print-on-demand innovations. Customisation that was expensive to mass produce in previous decades is now much more affordable.
Social media and Tshirts have interacted in other interesting ways. Jason Sadler started the "I Wear Your Shirt" project where companies pay him by the day for him to wear a tee advertising their products and post an image of himself on YouTube, Twitter, and other social media websites. Sadler’s fees were just as strange: he charged according to the day of the year. In other words, he’d charge a company $1 on January 31st and $365 on December 31st. This may sound silly, but the companies and corporations bought it hook, line, and sinker: he made over $70,000 in one year. The next year he aimed to double his profits.
T-shirts are a kind of offline social media in which individuality, self-expression, and playfulness are almost boundless, creating a whole new arena to advertise brands.