Trump Miller Lite tees are booming on TikTok ahead of July 4th

@markettamoutray/TikTok Jonah Elkowitz/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Unlicensed T-shirts of Trump plugging Miller Lite, Budweiser, and Coors are all over TikTok

 

Marlon Ettinger

Tech

E-hustlers with screen printing machines are flooding TikTok’s online shop with fake beer company shirts hyping former President Donald Trump ahead of the Fourth of July.

The shirts are racking up millions of views and tens of thousands of sales, according to figures from the accounts and their TikTok shops. 

The shirt appears to be—but are not—officially licensed beer merchandise, with Miller Lite, Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Michelob Ultra, Budweiser, and other logos emblazoned on the left breast.

On the back of these shirts is Trump in a U.S. flag headband and star-spangled sunglasses, holding various beers in front of a flag-like background. Around him is the phrase “Make 4th of July Great Again.”

The shirts are cashing in on Trump’s allure, but are getting a massive boost thanks to TikTok’s extremely popular built-in shopping store, which is frequented by over half the site’s users to quickly purchase products and outfits that are going viral on the site. 

The accounts also appear to have teamed with influencers to push the merch across the site, helping it fill up the timeline 

One such person hyping the shirts has over 6 million views on his videos, calling it the perfect fit for the holiday. 

https://www.tiktok.com/@mke_method/video/7382203490673757482?q=trump%20beer%20shirt&t=1719323474823

None of the T-shirts appear on Trump’s official campaign merch store, though they wouldn’t feel entirely out of place, where the former president sells shirts featuring his mug shot, himself wearing a “MAGA King” crown, and a “Beijing Biden” T-shirt showing President Joe Biden as a puppet being controlled by a balloon bearing an image of China’s flag. 

Though the shirts utilize their logos, the beer companies aren’t selling the T-shirts either

A spokesperson for Molson Coors, Miller Lite’s parent company, confirmed that the shirts weren’t licensed merchandise and were not authorized by the company. A PR representative for Twisted Tea didn’t immediately reply to questions about the T-shirts. Anheuser-Busch, who own Budweiser and Michelob Ultra, also didn’t respond.

The spammy nature of the shirts highlights the nebulous world of selling on TikTok, which has exploded in popularity as a seamless way to convert something viral into sales. And on a site where it doesn’t take much to explode, a get-rich-quick scheme can quickly turn into some real cash-flow. 

At least one user selling the shirts has 30,000 sales, according to their profile. At $25 a pop, that means they’ve done around three-quarters of a million dollars in turnover on the T-shirts.

TikTok’s offer of sudden virality makes the platform an ideal setting for these sorts of business ventures. A YouTube account connected to the TikTok seller has the same Trump T-shirt videos, with some struggling to crack double digits views.

The user behind the big sales numbers, TrendyHuttt, didn’t answer an email asking about their business, but a constellation of related accounts shows just how easy it is build a mini merch empire on the site.

Their website and other social links boasts a variety of Trump-focused merch. But before that, it was Taylor Swift. Associated profiles lead to similarly designed old sites and TikTok pages which hyped similar T-shirts centered around the superstar.

Many of their videos from older accounts selling Swift merchandise appear to have been deleted.

Some of the designs, including one that misspells the former president’s name as “Donal,” bear some of the hallmarks of being AI-generated designs, a growing hustle culture enterprise. 

YouTube is currently filled with videos featuring pushing screen-printed AI T-shirts as the latest form of quick cash. 

But given the explosive reach, it’s not entirely possible to track where and when the specific beer shirts came about. 

One early seller of the Trump-themed July 4th beer shirts was @rebeccamour5, who was advertising the shirts as early as the end of May, though with less reach than other sellers.

@rebeccamour5 Make 4th of July great again ! Trust me, your American man will love to see you wearing this shirt 🇺🇸 Trump Busch Light happy 4th of July 🎆 #trump #trump47 #trump2024 #donaldtrump #eletion2024 #republican #merica🇺🇸 #trumpsupporter #makeamericagreatagain #trendingshirts🔥 #trumpusa #happy4thofjuly #fourthofjuly #firework #fourthofjulyparty #4thofjulyshirt #takeamericaback #trump2024🇺🇸 #buschlight #lovebuschlight #trumpbeer ♬ suga suga – grace ✭

Their TikTok shop highlights just around 100 items sold, though. And regardless of who started the trend, plenty of copycats have popped up, with many of them posting very similar videos advertising the shirts and pushing users to their own shops.

@usteesfusion Check our new design, bro will need this shirt! 😉 #Summer #trump #trump2024 #trumptrain #trumpsupporters #president #america #merica #donaldtrump #thuglife #millerlite #beershirt #4thofjuly #trumpthuglife #tshirt #voteshirt #felonyshirt #voteforfelonshirt #trending #fyp #viral ♬ Thug Life (feat. FBG Duck) – Hollywood Swervo

Those smaller shops often don’t have the same reach as the bigger sellers. Sellers are also offering the designs on a variety of high-churn merch sites in a variety of colors, as well as on hoodies, long sleeve shirts, and tank-tops.

And while they might be part of a network of seller accounts, they could just as easily mean something else: Even the copycats are getting copycatted now.

Update 11:53am CT, June 27: A TikTok spokesperson told the Daily Dot that products that violate trademarks and infringe on third-party intellectual property rights are banned on the shop and that they remove content that breaks that policy.


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