Image source: Sports.yahoo.com[/caption]
Ever since the invention of the first ball, people have been fighting against each other for sport supremacy. And ever since the invention of the first article of clothing, people have been using clothes to announce their loyalties to the world. You can just picture it now: a bunch of cavemen shaking fists and brandishing clubs at each other, one side wearing saber tooth tiger pelts that read "TEAM UGG" and the other side wearing mammoth hides that read, "TEAM GRUNK." Okay, maybe I'm taking some creative liberties here, but it's true that for millennia mankind has been using clothes to show group loyalties.
The most recent example comes from the vicious rivalry between the Wolverines of the University of Michigan and Michigan State's Izzone. Michigan vs Michigan? Yeah, I know it's a little bit confusing for those of you who aren't big into the world of men's college basketball. The Wolverines sport blue and yellow, while the Izzone take to the court in green and white.
The Wolverines are well known for their "We On" motto. Allegedly, the "We" part of it came from the acronym Wolverine Excellence. The "On" bit got added on later as a great battle slogan. Go to any Wolverine game and you'll be sure to find fans wearing iconic We On shirts to support their team. Not to be outdone, Izzone fans showed up to the match with t-shirts that boldly proclaimed, "You Off!" They also shouted the derogatory phrase at Wolverine players during warm-up. It must've worked, because Izzone trumped the Wolverines with a final score of 75-52. So, what can we take away from this? That mean slogans are popular in sports games? No -- that much is already a given. The most interesting thing about this story is how Izzone fans took a popular Wolverine slogan and turned it around to create a biting taunt. When you create custom shirts, you don't necessarily have to make up the slogan from scratch. Sometimes, the best custom shirts improve upon or poke fun at popular ideas.
Image source: Melcarson.com[/caption]
Want another example? I point to the "I'm a PC" t-shirts that popped up all over the place following those iconic "I'm a Mac" commercials. Those shirts took a much subtler route. Rather than attacking Mac computers, these shirts simply resisted Apple's marketing campaign by announcing support of the Windows operating system. Culture and current events serve as an endless source of inspiration for custom clothing. This is particularly true if you're trying to create buzz with a week-long marketing campaign. Incorporating current events or popular local culture into your campaign slogans tell potential customers that you're sharp and that you have your fingers on the pulse of modern society.
Turn the Russian meteor or fear over the fiscal cliff into a clever joke. The message may not strike the same chord years from now, but it's sure to generate a few laughs and attract potential customers if you promote the slogan at a local festival or community event.