March 23, 2012 at 4:14 PM ET
Every election year, tech-savvy young people are targeted with creative ways to encourage voting, and this year, the effort gets more fashionable. And less chatty.
With these "scan to vote" T-shirts, you can skip the convo, get close to someone rocking the shirt, and snap the QR code with your smartphone (although there may be some potential for awkwardness here!). The code brings you to a mobile page where you can watch educational videos about the election, engage with social media and register to vote. A combined effort of PromoJam, Rock the Vote, Junk Food and Threads for Thought, these shirts debuted at the Warby Parker Citizen’s Circus during the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
“Sometimes young people don’t participate because it’s confusing [to register], so we were trying to get over their barriers,” Chrissy Faessen, vice president of marketing and communications for Rock the Vote, told TODAY.com. “This was a fashion-forward way and a tech-forward way to show how easy it is.”
Junk Food Clothing is familiar with combining tech with fashion, having used these QR codes before in other promotions. The first use was a "scan to give" shirt, which allowed users to donate to Meals on Wheels. The company approached Rock the Vote with the technology.
“Because we are positioned as the pop-culture T-shirt brand…it made sense to do something around the elections,” said Andrei Najjar, Junk Food’s vice president of marketing.
Each of the organizations that took part in this initiative had a shared desire to encourage everyone to vote, representatives told TODAY.com.
The shirts were popular at SXSW and will continue to be an integral part of the Rock the Vote campaign, appearing at major musical festivals throughout the year. The shirts will be on sale in Whole Foods stores across the country beginning in April.
Just be careful – if you wear one, expect a lot of people to be getting close (who knows, it could lead to a potential love connection!).
Lisa Granshaw is a writer and producer for TODAY.com. She would love to sport this tee to encourage people to vote, she's just not sure how she would feel about people invading her personal bubble!