I should start off saying that I personally avoid wearing anything with a company logo. I love designs, art, shapes, colors, text, but NOT a visible company logo OR company name. It blows my mind when I see people wearing clothes with a large visible brand name on them. I am always tempted to ask people whether or not they work for that company or if they are getting paid to wear the t-shirt. What is so funny is that people pay a premium to have a shirt that says Gap or Abercrombie & Fitch, or Quicksilver and they are just advertising for the company by walking around as a live billboard while the companies laugh all the way to the bank. Obviously there are instances where a company stands for something you believe, but it appears many times folks just wear clothes because it is cool or trendy.
With that said, M&Ms launched a site that allows visitors to create a unique and custom M&M character. You can change things like eyes, eyebrows, style of M&M, clothes, and other prop elements. Using the Zazzle API, it is possible to put your crazy M&M character on a t-shirt or another product at Zazzle. But WHY? Why would I want a funny looking M&M on my chest? Regardless of my love for M&Ms why would I feel compelled to wear a dressed up M&M regardless of my love for M&Ms and chocolate. Since when does dressing your food up in a mustache, hat and boots make you want to buy eat more chocolate? As a guy who grew up in the Mr. Potato Head era I do find it amusing to create characters and change the facial structure and swap parts. With the advancements in flash/flex technology it is fun to create your own characters or avatars but do you really need to put it on a product? Apparently there is a need. This is not a rant on Zazzle’s API, because I think their API is great, it just blows my mind what people are willing to buy on a t-shirt to advertise for someone else.
Anyway, I created my own M&M character (no it does not look like me at all)
So here is what my creation looks like on a t-shirt.
To top it off there is a monster M&M logo on the back of the t-shirt. It is possible to remove the logo on the back of the t-shirt but chances are the type of person who would buy this on a t-shirt would want to have that logo on the back.
I am dying to know, how many folks buy an M&M on a product for every million M&M character creations. It was smart business to offer products as an option but who buys this stuff?! Let me know what you think in the comments of this post. But first, you can create your own character over at Planet M&Ms.
I learned about the Zazzle/M&M partnership over at the Get Elastic blog which has some interesting e-Commerce articles.