SIOUX FALLS, SD—April 11, 2014—Following a recent string of awards for advertising and other professional achievements, ad agency Fresh Produce is considering reviving plans to produce and distribute t-shirts bearing designs that—while intended to inspire civic pride in Sioux Falls residents—might be illegal.
“Fresh Produce credibility is at an all-time high,” said Fresh Produce co-founder and creative director Ted Heeren, referring to Fresh Produce’s performance at the 2014 American Advertising Awards (SD ADDYs). “Now is the perfect time to try to get away with something like this.”
Last year, Fresh Produce announced and then quickly cancelled its plans to produce limited runs of two novelty t-shirts.
“Fresh Produce credibility is at an all-time high.”
One t-shirt design featured a graphic representation of a conventional men’s hairstyle and eyeglasses paired with the phrase “Schreck yourself before you wreck yourself.” The other design featured a graphic representation of another conventional men’s hairstyle paired with the phrase “Trobec yourself before you wreck yourself.”
“It’s a case of using classic American design to celebrate two classic American names and two classic American haircuts,” said Heeren at the time.
“Now is the perfect time to try to get away with something like this.”
Unfortunately, the t-shirt project was mothballed by the agency following a phone call from a confused and distressed local news station manager.
“It’s hard to say exactly how legal it would have been for us to print the shirts,” said Fresh Produce writer Brian Bieber, who fielded the extremely awkward phone call. “But ultimately we decided to table the project to avoid any frivolous lawsuits.”
Proceeds from the sale of the shirts would have gone to a local charity.
Now that the agency is flush with industry trophies and accolades, Fresh Produce is giving the potentially illegal t-shirt project another look.
Fresh Produce won five best in class awards for the work they did in 2013, as well as nine gold ADDYs, and a couple of silver ones. Two of the winning pieces also received Regional ADDY awards, and will go on to compete for national recognition. The agency—which is celebrating its tenth year in business—also took home the South Dakota event’s top award, Best in Show, for the fourth time in seven years.
“If we’re going to make a run of potentially illegal t-shirts, there’s no better time than now.”
“We’ve got all kinds of credibility these days,” said Heeren. “A few months ago, we won the Judge’s Choice award in the Cancer Awareness Advertising Awards. We just had a conference call with a client in the Netherlands. I was asked to do my radio show live from Mount Rushmore, for crying out loud! If we’re going to make a run of potentially illegal t-shirts, there’s no better time than now.”