How Custom Embroidered T-Shirts Could Bring Down a War Criminal

[caption id="attachment_584" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Kony 2012 Campaign Image source: Homorazzi.com[/caption] YouTube recently unveiled YouTube Rewind, which took a look back at the top 10 trending videos from 2012. Psy's Gangnam Style took the number one slot (hardly surprising considering that it's the single most viewed YouTube video in history). While the rest of the list is mostly filled with music videos and attempts at humor, viewers should take note of the number three video, Kony 2012.   You should have a look if you've never seen it, just be warned: you may want to keep a box of tissues nearby. http://youtu.be/Y4MnpzG5Sqc The core idea that drives the video is fairly simple: sharing matters. Whether you spread your message on Facebook, on stickers, through word of mouth, or through custom embroidered clothing, the fact of the matter is that getting your message out can make the difference between a humble idea and an international movement.   The Kony 2012 campaign had one mission: to make Joseph Kony, an African war criminal, as famous and as hated as possible. This would increase pressure on politicians, who would eventually be forced to allocate resources to help hunt down this mass murderer. The campaign has been doing well -- the United States sent 100 adviser troops to Africa to train the locals and help them hunt down Kony. [caption id="attachment_585" align="aligncenter" width="625"]US Troops Stationed in Uganda to Help Hunt Down Joseph Kony Image source: Thecable.foreignpolicy.com[/caption] It's hard to attribute the success of the Kony 2012 campaign to any one factor. Did it succeed because of the Kony 2012 Facebook page with over 935,000 likes? Or was it from the billboards and stickers that everyday citizens erected in public places? Or was it because of shirts like these, that gave individual activists an opportunity to share their message with their friends and family? [caption id="attachment_586" align="aligncenter" width="589"]Kony 2012 Action Kit Image source: Deltasgov.weebly.com[/caption] Naturally, it was a combination of all of these factors working together. Embroidered shirts can't take the full credit for the popularity of the Kony 2012 movement, but it has undoubtedly helped the cause.   Over the years, custom clothing has been a staple of political movements, and for good reason. They are one of the most effective ways to inject word of mouth marketing into a campaign and put a face on the movement. Putting up a billboard will certainly attract a lot of viewers, but nothing has quite as much of an impact as seeing a friend or coworker brazenly support a cause on a shirt, tote bag, or hat.   If you are trying to promote a cause, then there truly is no such thing as overexposure -- Kony 2012 is proof of that. The campaign promoted the cause on all fronts, and their 95 million YouTube views stand as a testament to its success. Custom T-shirts, custom hatscustom quarter zips, and embroidered clothing may just be one facet of your marketing campaign, but the amount of viewers they can attract is staggering. [caption id="attachment_587" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Kony 2012 Activists wearing custom clothing Image source: Stream.aljazeera.com[/caption] So, speak your mind. Wear your heart on your sleeve in a much more literal sense, and transform your supporters into advocates who will advertise your message every second of every day. Putting your message on a line of embroidered shirts may very well change the world.

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