Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Are Your T-shirts Saying to and About You?

What Are Your T-shirts Saying to and About You?


I saw a few t-shirts today in my travels and was reminded of the power and impact of our words. The first shirt I noticed, worn by a dejected looking woman, said simply, i don't count. A glimpse of the back of the shirt showed a big green "K" - indicating the Cricket phone company brand. Next, I saw a woman wearing a Family Guy shirt that said Master of Disaster.

The second grouping of shirts had a more positive slant. First, there was the UA Wildcat Pride shirt. The next was imprinted with the words, Protecting children is everyone's job, a message of hope and awareness.

As soon as I saw that it was a Cricket product, the i don't count message made sense (one of the company's biggest selling points is unlimited calls and text messages). But the message, on its face, struck me as negative, bordering on hopeless. Made me wonder what Cricket was thinking in okaying this campaign. And what the people who voluntarily wear the shirt must be thinking - or not thinking - when they put it on in the morning.

Now my boyfriend's a big Family Guy fan - meaning I catch an episode every now and again. As distasteful as some of the subject matter can be, Seth MacFarlane's satire pushes the envelope and is sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious. Nonetheless, I'm not sure how aware of this satire the gal sporting the Master of Disaster shirt actually is. And my first question on seeing it - much like seeing the i don't count shirt - was to wonder how much thought she'd given to purchasing and wearing it.

This is not to suggest that the gals (yes, all of the t-shirt wearers were female) in the Wildcat Pride and Protecting Children shirts are necessarily aware of the more positive messages on their clothing. Who knows what other phrases adorn the unworn t-shirts in their dresser drawers?

I had two big takeaways in all of this: (1) as business owners, it is imperative that we select our branding messages carefully, and (2) as people trying to have the best possible lives, it is essential that we take great care in the messages we allow to surround us - including the ones we actually wear on our bodies.

My facebook friend, David Bell, recently cautioned some of his friends about their language. He mentioned cringing when he hears people say things like, "I love her to death," and "This economy sucks." You've probably heard before that what we think about, we bring about. But thoughts cannot exist without words, and those words carry a powerful impact. For yourself and for your business, doesn't it make sense to choose them wisely?


Seen any shirts that got you to scratching your head? Share your comments below!


This is Day 15 in the 60-Day Content Challenge. See you tomorrow for the next post!
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