Senator Ad 1

US-made merchandise boosted by presidential campaign

With the US presidential election on 8 November, a new president will soon be in place in the White House.

One interesting aspect of the main campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was the role of merchandise. Always an important aspect in grass roots campaigning, merchandise has arguably become of even greater importance due to the relative decline in the role of traditional TV advertising.

In fact, a recent report claimed that Trump was spending more on merchandise to give away at rallies than he was on staff running his campaign. Turning supporters into walking billboards has clearly been a strategy with Trump allegedly spending $1.8 million on merchandise in July, compared with $921,000 on staff . With the businessman not having the same level of advertising support as his rival, merchandise has helped boost his campaign profile.

After early run-ins with the media on whether his now iconic ‘Make America Great Again’ baseball cap was really made in America, a US manufacturer, Cali-Fame, has emerged as the manufacturer. Another US company, Louisiana’s Ace Specialties has been supplying T-shirts, mugs, stickers, and hats.

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign has emphasised the ‘Made in America’ and union printed nature of its own merchandise. It has teamed with a number of fashion designers, such as Marc Jacobs and Diane von Fustenberg for a limited edition ‘Made for History’ range of designer T-shirts.

With the relative decline of US manufacturing, this has become a political hot potato, so whoever ends up in the White House, US manufacturers have benefitted from the long-running campaign.

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