Friday, May 15, 2009

Advertisements on T-Shirt and Memorabilia

In the online world where the expectations of free products and/or services are common, most business models are centered around advertisement.  Google’s main revenue comes from advertisement and there are many other online advertisement companies around.  The FREE world is here and probably here to stay for sometime, even with all the naysayers that this is not a long term solution.

We have the “free” OS in Linux, the “free” greeting cards by Hallmarks, the “free” Office Productivity in, the “free” this and that.  Seldom do we see “free” physical products but that seems to be sprouting up occasionally.

In Japan, they have free photocopying services where they will sponsor the paper and the copying.  The catch is that the opposite side of the paper will be full of advertisements, much like the advertisements on the back of your supermarket receipts.

Currently, we will encounter pirated merchandises such as T-Shirts or even Hard Rock Cafe badges from various parts of the world.  These seems to be very popular among tourist.


The business idea is simple.  Why not start an advertisement business that prints the advertisement onto items such as T-Shirts.  This can be setup quite cheaply initially to gauge the market acceptance and also to minimize investment initially.  All you need is an online presence where they can submit their logo and requirement.  You can then start by printing them on those iron-on labels for T-Shirts and start producing them.

The issue here is that they probably won’t see the marketing returns by sponsoring the whole T-Shirt, but you just need to gauge fees that you can charge, don’t worry about the margins.  After that, work with the T-Shirt retailers and sell them at cost.  Your profit will be from the advertisers and not from the T-Shirt customers, who will basically just cover your T-Shirt cost.


In short, instead of selling pirated T-Shirts, these T-Shirt retailers can sell genuine product without paying royalties whilst the brands can advertise cheaply.  Of course, the known brands would be particular with the type of materials and would probably look at their merchandise as a revenue channel.  However, for others, it maybe a good brand visibility channel, think of consumer brands like Persil.


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