Bands such as The Rolling Stones or Guns N`Roses have the most popular and recognizable emblems in the world. But, with platforms such as Netflix and Prime Video, television shows have become competitors of what gets put on t-shirts as fashionable displays. The trend started off a couple of years ago when series such as The Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones started to have graphic t-shirts as merchandise. The fashionable tops quickly became popular and more TV series started to have their own graphic designs on items. The Netflix success show, Stranger Things, had a collaboration with big brands, such as H&M, Nike, and Levi`s. Another good example is the hit TV show, Friends, which had its title and quotes and memes created from the series made into merchandise, or we can also mention Absolutely Fabolous. In 2020 the most popular tv series t-shirts are Killing Eve, Fleabag, and Hollywood.
“The force of social media and the concept of a ‘bio’ means that we’re constantly being made to define ourselves and, while brand logos display our brand loyalty, scenes from TV shows say slightly more about who we are and the type of content we identify with…It’s another easy way to say: ‘This is who I am and what I like.’” (Forbes-Bell, The Guardian, 2019)
She further explains that these t-shirts create a sense of belonging. You know you are part of a community that shares its love for a certain series. Tv shows nowadays keep you engaged for a longer period of time. You wait for the following seasons to premiere, which you used to do with bands releasing their new albums.
But music doesn`t have the same longevity as before. With all the online music streaming services we can access any song, any album that we like in seconds. It is a fast-paced industry. On the other hand TV series still take their time and they are constant entertainment. They can marginalize the audience and attract powerful emotions. One thing that music and TV seem to have in common is their ability to influence passionate fans and crucial pop culture references.