Nov 6, 2008

Another t-shirt

A few months ago I noticed an application on that enabled readers to buy t-shirts carrying the website's headlines. CNN says the promotion was meant to build awareness of the brand and drive traffic to the site. I will be the first to admit that I like t-shirts and have more than I could ever possibly wear, but I never quite understood the appeal of this promotion.

The $15 t-shirts just had a reprint of the story's headline along with the date and time it appeared. No cool design or graphic. No clever slogan, except for the two best selling headlines which had been "Colossal squid has soccer ball eyes" and "One in three office workers hung over." Apparently many people thought as I did, as only 2500 shirts were sold since the application launched five months ago.

That was until something truly newsworthy happened. Like an historic presidential election.

The election of Barack Obama sent Americans scrambling for keepsakes of the historic moment, including nearly 5,000 CNN t-shirts emblazoned with "Obama inspires historic victory." Under the headline is "I just saw it on" and the time and date 11:04 p.m., 11-4-08. The interest resulted in almost $75,000 in sales, doubling the total from the first five months of the promotion.

Read the story here at AdWeek
Buy the t-shirt here