The clothing store Urban Outfitters, which is popular with teens, has recently put out a few items of clothing in support of the Republican party, or more accurately in support of Romney. The store, which carries with it a “hipster” vibe, sees politics as part of the glamour of all things fun and exciting. Political shirts sold by the store are marketed to interested teens and other millennials, who are excited about this year's presidential race. This is only part of a growing effort by companies to tailor their brands for this heated election year.
Millennial’s today want more out of their presidential candidates than the older generation does. The younger generation would like to see a candidate that speaks to their ideals, and understands their common frustrations regarding topics as broad as money and finances, to supporting the gay community. As this PolicyMic article points out, millennials are not unique and the only way to make them care about an election or politics is to find a way to make them care. Young people want to see something out of this election which will make them want to get involved and participate. The idea that companies and brands which they love are reaching out to them makes the youth vote all the more important.
The shirts sold by Urban Outfitters are all in light-hearted fun. For Romney, especially, the shirts show that there are young supporters who are actively taking part in supporting his campaign. In 2008, millennials were more excited about politics than ever before and helped to support their respective parties as much as they possibly could. That feeling of excitement may have waned, though millennials are no doubt still working hard to bring support to their candidates and party. A new study by Tufts University found that civic engagement by young people is often stereotyped or oversimplified in the news media and by others. This only shows that there is still so much to learn from the youth of today. The reason why companies are trying to reach out to millennials is because they know how to pique their interest in a particular subject; in this case that subject is politics and the current election.
While Urban Outfitters may be leading in terms of political shirts, by no means is it the only company to do so. It should also be pointed out that there are sites which allow one to create their own shirts, some of which are political in nature. In an election year, there are a lot of people that can be fairly uptight about issues and ideas but there are always the small things that can put a smile on ones’ face. It is always important to understand how to reach out to millennials, as they are just waiting for the chance to make their mark.