YES, the t-shirt is still effective!

I was watching one of my all-time favorite shows last night, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I think that if there were one famous person that I could spend a day with, even if just following around in his footsteps, it would be Anthony Bourdain. His witty comments and his honest approach to good food and culture always hook me! I find myself lost in each episode, completely transported to his destination, and “waking up” only as the drool drops from my mouth.

On the particular episode last night filmed in Kansas City, Missouri, Tony has a BBQ dinner with The Black Keys.

Anthony Bourdain No Reservations with the Black Keys

As he is having his beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken wings, and the list goes on, Tony brings up the topic of what he calls “Merch.” Yes, Merch, as in, the merchandise that the Black Keys sell from the back of their famous wood-paneled van. Tony ponders the idea of No Reservations T-shirts, which he currently does not sell. “Is there really money in merch?”  “What would be on my t-shirts?” Tony Asks… The Black Keys answer: “Anything you want.”

I think what they were trying to convince Tony of was that people will buy t-shirts with anything on them. If they are cool shirts, comfortable, or represent a brand or a person they love, they want to wear it and show their support. We often think of the basic t-shirt giveaway as a dying breed. My customers ask me all the time: Do you t-shirts are still a viable promotional product. My answer: YES YES YES! Everyone loves a good t-shirt to throw on after a long days work, and it is a walking advertisement to thousands of eyes that you may never reach otherwise.

What is most important to remember is to pick the RIGHT T-shirt. Companies from American Apparel to Hanes are making it easier to get affordable shirts that are comfortable to wear and fit well. Long gone is the day of the Hanes Beefy Tee, but for a few more dollars out of your pocket, you can outfit your customers and potential customers in comfort.

As The Black Keys ask Anthony in shock, “You really don’t sell T-shirts???”, we realize how important this closet staple is to our marketing mix.

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