Living Well in a Recession – $3,000 T-Shirt

Stumbled upon this t-shirt today at Zazzle.com that reads, “Fuck the Recession. I’m Still Rich.” You may not have a problem with it, but I think this is an awful idea. Don’t get me wrong – I get the gag – based on irony. A t-shirt that says something like this is usually not actually worn by somebody who has money. That’s what I thought, until I saw the price tag. $3,325.00! Ridiculous. I thought maybe the price itself was a joke, but I added the item to my cart, and sure enough, it costs $3,300! 

Tshirt Front

Tshirt Front

Tshirt back

Tshirt back

$3,325 at checkout

$3,325 at checkout

Here’s my problem with it. When we’re in a “recession,” you should not (as an individual or a business or organization) show signs of living or spending opulently. It’s tacky. It’s insensitive. I guess I just don’t think it’s that funny or novel to spend $3,000 on a t-shirt in this economy. People are hurting. Genuinely hurting.

To waltz around with signs of spending money lavishly is really socially insensitive to me. There are some companies that are doing this – sending out postcards that are gilded, printing Annual Reports with ornamental and lavish features. Stop doing this! Granted, in my line of business (advertising and marketing), I wish clients were spending more money – but I think it makes such poor business sense. If you even look like you’re spending a lot of money right now, you will offend customers. I don’t care if you got a good deal. Perception is reality – if you look like you spent a ton of money, you spent a ton of  money. Be aware of the messages you’re sending.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Barie said,

    I agree, this shirt is ridiculous. I would want to throw paint on any person I saw wearing this, such as the PETA advocates would on fur coat wearers.

  2. 3

    DB said,

    It is an interesting point you make as we have been seeing this a lot lately. Bank CEO’s are under fire for huge bonus’ while their banks collapse, as are automaker CEO’s who fly private planes on the way to ask Congress for money. The image of extravagance alone is enough to turn a consumer off.

    Then again, I am sure this guy is only using that expensive shirt as a gag to get people to his other merchandise.

  3. 4

    Rob said,

    I love the shirt. The biggest problem with the economy right now is fear. If enough people drop three Gs on shirts, soon we’ll be in the clear! Let’s get that money multiplier rolling.


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