Reactee Puts Your Message on the Streets

Posted by Emily Chang on Monday, August 13th, 2007. Filed under: eHub Features

I get fairly excited when I come across a company working within the web 2.0 space that I’m not quite certain how to categorize. This excitement (some might call it confusion, but I prefer to be optimistic) is why I decided to take a closer look at Reactee. In a list somewhere, you might find them filed under fashion, communication, or perhaps marketing. Reactee deftly combines elements of all three. Truth is, I think that this is a case where the sum is greater than the whole of the parts.

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At first glance, Reactee is a fairly straightforward, albeit unique, approach to design-your-own clothes. You go to their website, design a t-shirt, and publish it in their catalog. This is all done rather Cafepress style. Where it starts to get interesting is the message. Reactee shirts, (Reactees) are designed to market something. It may be your band, club or business, or a non-profit you belong to, or of course, you can advertise something slightly more self-indulgent like “Think I’m Hot?”. With each shirt goes a unique keyword. People on the street who see your message and text-message the shirt’s keyword to Reactee receive a short customized reply which can be changed or updated by you at any time. Hence Reactee’s slogan: Cause A Reaction.

Going about making your own Reactee is a fairly streamlined process. You’ll need your mobile phone with you. Begin by clicking the “Create Your Own Shirt” button on the Reactee homepage. The instructions are step-by-step, and there’s even a little chart to help you figure out your size. Since sizes vary so much by manufacturer, this is one of those little things that can make or break it with a customer. I found the size chart to be pretty accurate.

imageThe design on the shirt is a static design. Unless you add a picture, it’s going to be pretty much the same as everyone else’s Reactee. That’s not really a bad thing, because attention is drawn to your customized slogan and keyword. I’m not the first person you’d ask for fashion advice, but when I unrolled my shirt, my first reaction was, “Yeah, that looks good!” At first I felt that the material was a little thin, but my shirt has survived my washing machine with no shrinkage, so I’m happy. The shirts come in an assortment of colors, but if you’re environmentally focused, choose the “natural” colored shirt made from organic materials.

After you’ve finished the design, the next step is to activate your shirt. This is where you come up with the message that people will get when they SMS your Reactee. You’re prompted enter your mobile number so that the shirt and your message are tied to that number. You can change you message later from your phone or by logging into the site using your mobile number.

What excites me most about Reactee are the possibilities that arise from a product like this one. According to Ariel Poler, Reactee’s CEO, there are no other products like this one. The face of social activism has changed completely since the adoption of mobile phones and text messenging. We’re seeing the rise of SMS activism. Here’s where Reactee fits in. Reactee takes your message and puts it on the street. Ask yourself a question: Which do you read more, magazine advertisements or the slogans on people’s clothing? The applications of a Reactee shirt are literally limited only by your imagination, as is the good that you could do.

My experience with Reactee has been excellent. It’s obvious that they’ve put a ton of thought into the user experience. I really like how streamlined the process is when you’re creating your shirt. The features of the user interface, like the sizing chart, are clearly designed from the user perspective. I mentioned their organic shirts, but Reactee doesn’t stop there. Using American-made shirts cuts down on the amount of carbon emissions created from getting the shirts from the factory to Reactee for printing. (Reactee is an American company.) They also print their shirts using an environmentally-friendly water-based ink. From design decision to business decisions, I see a lot of good things happening at Reactee. I would definitely go back to them as a customer.

To text or buy a sample of a Reactee, visit eHub editor Emily Chang’s Reactee for her environmental cause: http://reactee.com/northshore.

Also see: eHub Interviews Reactee