When Sean John launched its first “Vote or Die” campaign in 2004, America was still emotionally recovering from the 9/11 terrorist attack, we’d waged war on Iraq, and the second term of George W. Bush’s presidency was at stake—and many of us couldn’t have imagined those stakes could possibly get higher.
Fast-forward 16 years, and the slogan “Vote or Die” feels terrifyingly literal as we contemplate the possibility of another four years of a Trump presidency. Not only are we in the throes of a pandemic that has resulted in over 200,000 deaths, millions of infections, and arguably could’ve been contained months ago, had we had a competent and compassionate administration at the helm. Instead, we are watching a sycophantic leader attempt to gaslight the public into believing that since he has survived the coronavirus (after receiving all the best and most expedient treatment our taxpayer money can buy), the rest of us pedestrians have nothing to fear.
With this in mind, “Vote or Die” has indeed taken on new meaning, making a relaunch of Sean John’s now-iconic tee—part of a capsule collection including several other of-the-moment, message-driven designs—more timely than ever.
“If not now, when?” asks one T-shirt design—and with three short weeks to go before our next election and not only the presidency but everything from local offices, to Senate seats up for grabs (as well as the future of the Supreme Court), it’s a valid question. While Sean John itself may be celebrity-founded (we see you, Diddy) and has plenty of well-known supporters, the campaign focuses on the everyday people most affected by bad governmental policies, also launching several powerful videos driving home why our votes matter more than ever, across generations.
Per a release from Sean John:
The Vote or Die “Vote For...” campaign comes 16-years after Sean John rolled out the initial campaign. Sean John is taking an intentional approach with an action-driven campaign highlighting the stories and profiles of everyday men and women that are directly impacted and feel heartily about the unfair current events and injustices that continue to occur in America.
The videos and campaign feature activists who’ve been on the frontline of “bringing awareness to the issues affecting a majority of the people in this country,” as well “a thought-provoking and emotional video featuring former Obama press aide, Desiree Barns,” says the brand. To develop and produce the digital campaign, Sean John partnered with full-service marketing agency RO-NY and Brooklyn Circus founder Ouigi Theodore; the campaign itself directs customers from the Sean John site to Pro-Vote.US, “an anti-racism resource page created in response to the protests and ongoing conversations surrounding race in America, to receive the most up-to-date, and relevant voter and #Blacklivesmatter coverage and information,” reads the release.
For more information and updates on the Vote or Die campaign, visit seanjohn.com/voteordie.