I have been trying so hard not to write about the True Blood shirts we produced a couple months ago. Aware that the new season is set to begin June 13, I have remained as patient as possible – but the time is now, and I couldn’t be more excited.
As an avid viewer, I could go on and on about why True Blood is great, but you will have to judge for yourself. As a guy that makes a living producing t-shirts for marketing, I am a fan of these shirts for different reasons:
- No obvious advertising message
- Specific styling to create unique looks
- Simple prints with subtle design elements
So what does that do? It makes people want to wear them. Nowhere on the shirt does it say, “True Blood, HBO, Sunday at 9:00.” If it did then I would not have worn mine to a Memorial Day party – but I did.
Someone said to me, “What’s ‘Good Times’ Football?”
“Very clever” I replied, “you speak French?”
“No, but I know what ‘Bon Temps’ means.”
“No you don’t – it’s the city in True Blood.”
“The show on HBO?” he inquired.
“Yep, I love it, and I can’t wait for it to start again in two more weeks!”
I described the show for him – sex, violence, creatures, action, humor, mystery, and drama – dripping with attitude, cool from the opening song to the final scene. This conversation and my personal endorsement, all because of a cool shirt. There have been other times I wore it in public and someone who watches the show has smiled at me or done a double take or given me the “Right on, man.”
True Blood asks a lot from the viewer. It asks you to completely suspend disbelief, bury your cynicism for an hour, and let it suck you in. If you do, then you will understand what all the fuss is about. You will also understand why HBO can charge for their promotional t-shirts and not give them away.
My company compressed these shirts into the shape of a DVD case, so when they were sold in stores, the buyer couldn’t help but consider purchasing the series as well. Smart HBO, bloody smart – no wonder they can charge for their channel while the rest of them are free.
I feel lucky to have been a part of this promotion, and am so excited to have anything to do with this show on any level. As a marketing professional, I am so happy to see companies using promotional products with such thought and purpose. As a dude who likes to wear cool t-shirts, I am so glad to own this one. As a completely impatient person, is it Sunday yet?