Osama Death Inspires Pop Culture Promotional Items

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Trending Topic Tuesday,” where we share our take on what’s going on in the world and what promotional products would appropriately (or inappropriately) market the subject matter.

Osama Tee ShirtBy now everyone across the world should have heard the news of the death of Osama bin Laden, founder and leader of the militant group Al Qaeda and man who claimed responsibility for the series of September 11 attacks on the United States. Osama’s death comes as an American victory in the War on Terror – and it also comes as an opportunity for marketers to profit from this occurrence through the production of so-called patriotic promotional items.

Within hours of President Obama’s address announcing the confirmed death of bin Laden on the evening of May 1, “a wide swath of marketers already had latched onto the leader’s sudden demise at the hands of U.S. special forces,” reported USA Today in an article published online yesterday specifying thousands of promotional items that had popped up on popular merchandise sites Zazzle.com and CafePress.com.

From custom t shirts and coffee mugs featuring the slogan “Obama killed Osama,” to iPhone cases showing a photo of bin Laden with the words “Mission Accomplished” stamped across his face and even neckties featuring bin Laden in a gun sight, the range of items commemorating this monumental happening is expansive.

And in response to the perception that the “merchandising” of bin Laden’s death is perhaps a bit uncouth, Joe Schmidt, senior vice president of retail at CafePress said, “We’ve always viewed ourselves as being a mirror to the culture…What’s more important than personal expression?”

So what do you think? Do you plan on self-expressing by sporting a tee with a stick figure version of a victorious, flag-carrying American standing over the dead stick figure of bin Laden?

Manager – Content

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