A T-shirt might seem like the sort of thing that’s tricky to advertise. After all, how much can you really say about such a basic piece of clothing? Actually, you might be surprised! We were definitely blown away by all the creative ways that brands have come up with to convince their customers that their shirts are the ones to buy.
Of course, we’re big fans of the humble T-shirt here at Printsome. It’s a staple piece in anyone’s closet, managing to pull off the triple feat of being comfortable, stylish, and versatile all at once. There aren’t too many other pieces of clothing that can do that. We’re looking at you, skinny jeans. We hope we can still squeeze into you after all those summer ice creams!
Right, so like we were saying, there are lots of ways that brands are working on to get you to buy their tees. We’ve collected our favourite video ads and we’re excited to share them with you!
The T-shirt War by Rhett and Link
Chances are, if you were born anytime before 1990, you might feel perpetually slightly out of step with this whole YouTube thing. So while you’re probably well aware that YouTube stars exist, you may not be able to actually name any. (Or at least I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way). Well, that’s about to change — meet comedy duo Rhett and Link!
So where do T-shirts come into this whole thing? They created a totally original stop-motion video featuring 222 T-shirts and 1 fire extinguisher.
They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. How many is a video worth? Probably a lot, because these guys made a video that’s effective enough that it requires literally zero words to be outstanding.
Check out the behind-the-scenes video too — it’s so cool to see how they pulled this off.
T-shirt War 2
The original “T-shirt War” was so popular that McDonalds came knocking at Rhett and Link’s door (or whatever the internet equivalent of knocking on a door is). They got the guys to work on a campaign for McDonalds food and Coca-Cola drinks using the same clever concept they’d explored in the original video.
It’s not quite as much fun as the original video — living up to the sequel stereotype — and you know, they sold out to The Man and all, but it’s still a really cool video.
While none of these videos are advertising T-shirts, we include them on this list because they easily could have done so.
Finally a cure for “Plumber’s butt” by Duluth Trading
This is the sort of thing that not everybody will find funny, but we bet there are a ton of people who found is absolutely hilarious. Duluth Trading made a series of extra-long T-shirts, perfect for, well, plumbers. Hence the campaign “How to Fix Plumber’s Butt.”
The campaign did a good job of showing viewers not only why they might want to buy one of their shirts, but also telling a funny story and drawing them in. The well-chosen sound effects and quirky drawings definitely helped, too!
Layers of love for rugby
This is sort of like a real-life version of the “T-shirt War” we were talking about above. Only rather than there being some clever scene-cutting involved, this is actually layers and layers of T-shirts being peeled back! We can only imagine how warm and toasty some of the people at the beginning must have been with all that clothing on.
Apart from being visually engaging, this ad also did a really good job of including all different kinds of rugby fans. There are all sorts of people, not just your stereotypical sports fan lad-types. Points for inclusiveness!
Asket — the quintessential white T-shirt
This shirt is the simplest one on this list, and for that very reason it’s probably also the hardest sell. After all, what would you do if somebody asked you to sell a plain white T-shirt? These really are just your simple tee, in a nondescript colour, with not much that’d distinctive about them and on top of that, they aren’t cheap.
So…where to start? Well, they went with the fact that “This is a T-shirt.” Yep, they literally say that. They also say it’s “not a fashion statement, nor a status symbol. Just a T-shirt.” Perhaps unexpected, but definitely effective. Rather than trying to sell people on something revolutionary – when it really is just a T-shirt – this brand went with a completely sincere and straightforward approach.
Of course, they do mention a few things that make their tees special – including a made-to-last approach and a unique sizing system – but they never do a hard sell. It’s definitely a refreshing change. Actually, as I write this, I’m listening to Spotify’s ads, which are all based around a very, very hard sell approach. This ad is way nicer!
After the ad for the tee, Asket also has a segment that explains how their shirts are made. If you’re interested, it’s worth a watch as it is tastefully done.
Fruit of the Loom stays tucked no matter what
One thing marketers love to say over and over again is “Show, not tell”. That’s just what Fruit of the Loom did with their ad series about their shirts that stay tucked no matter what. By showing a rather curious range of activities, you can rest assured that there won’t be any slippage when it comes to these shirts, no matter what. And we really do mean no matter what — check out the ad to see what we mean. The best one is at the end!
The perfect way to fold a polo by Lacoste
Are they showing you the perfect way to fold your Lacoste tees so that you can display your polo with the little crocodile showing? Well, sort of. But keep watching and you’ll see what this ad is really for (and it’s not just the shirts!).
This ad is one of the shortest ones on our list, but the fun twist at the end means it keeps your attention the whole way through. It’s also a memorable way to show off two products that get advertised a whole lot. Short and sweet is sometimes best! (Another concept that marketers love to talk about).
Kittens and Michael Jordan
Kittens and Michael Jordan? Sign me up! An unusual combination for sure, but one that definitely works in this ad for Hanes. It’s one of the quirkier ads out there, and lots of viewers responded to its offbeat concept. Who doesn’t love a good sight gag? And come on, everyone knows the internet loves kittens, and the internet loves Michael Jordan. Kittens + Michael Jordan = a match made in heaven (though this heaven must have a weirder sense of humour than religious texts let on).
Jack White’s pocket tees
Musician Jack White is already a little bit of an oddball, so you might not be surprised to see that this stylised short film he directed is slightly off-kilter. He wanted to let his fans know that he was releasing a new line of T-shirts – pocketed T-shirts that is.
The resulting short film, David James Swanson: A Life, A Dream, A Pocket on a Shirt is melancholic and funny at the same time, an effect that’s aided by the dreamy vintage filters it was shot in. Never a video has made us so fascinated by T-shirt pockets. Though, we have to admit, we’re not sure we’ve ever seen another video dedicated entirely to T-shirt pockets!
If there is anything we can learn from these ads is that there’s not a single way of marketing a product. A small dose of creativity can really help a brand to stand out from the pack — even if they are literally selling something as commonplace as plain white T-shirts.
I can’t quite pick which one I like best – the stop-motion? Michael Jordan and kittens? Jack White going all bizarre? They’re all a lot of fun!
Which one is your favourite? We’d love to know! Let us know in the comments below or shoot us a message on any one of our social media channel.
In the meantime, keep reading the Printsome Blog for more awesome content (if we do say so ourselves).
Print on Demand
Here at Printsome, we’ve always supported creative endeavours which is why we’re proud to announce our brand new ‘print on demand’ service.
Thanks to our five years of experience in the apparel-printing industry, we were able to design a platform catered towards the needs of artists and designers who want to start their own T-shirt line. Printsome’s ‘Print on demand’ service has no minimum orders and can print any design with no colour limitations.
From the moment you connect your online shop (like Shopify) with our platform, anyone can buy one of your designs. We deliver all over the UK and Europe. Drop shipping has never been this easy.
Why worry about inventory or logistics when we can take care of that? We deal with the boring stuff so you have more time to do what you love. To find out more, simply visit our brand new website by clicking on the banner below.