How Did Wristbands Become a Marketing Success?

How Did Wristbands Become a Marketing Success?

Fashion accessory. A band with a cause. The humble silicone wristband has skyrocketed from relative unknown to an everyday accessory in a matter of no time. But, how?

People have been wearing bracelets and other forms of wrist accessories for centuries, so the use of such wristbands in marketing is actually tapping into a long-standing human fashion trend. The popularity of such bands, then, may be seen as more inevitable than something that happened by chance perhaps. Yet, there did seem to be a meteoric rise of the wristband in the past few decades. Why did this occur?


The true origin of the silicone wristband as a powerful marketing tool dates back to 2004. Lance Armstrong was having a very public battle with cancer – before his subsequent fall from grace – which was a cause taken up by sports giant Nike. The brand partnered itself with Armstrong’s Livestrong campaigning, producing what is now the world famous and recognisable silicone charity wristband.

Low costs meant that it was an ideal method of worldwide marketing without the usual high marketing budget, whilst also spring boarding off of the vibrant yellow of Armstrong’s jersey that he had become famous for. The Livestrong campaign became a phenomenal success thanks to this untapped marketing resource. Since then, the wristband has only risen further.

Male Cycling to Mark Use of Silicone Wristbands in Cyling by Lance Armstrong

Rise to Power

With a precedent set, it was only a matter of time before the next wave of marketing wristbands hit the mainstream. However, the next generation took itself down less of a charitable route and more towards the practical. Yes, soon after 2004 and the success of the Livestrong wristband the festival band was born.

The recent Glastonbury weekend is proof of the popularity of festivals in the modern day, but that wasn’t always the case. Once seen as a ‘unique’ way to pass the time, the increased sharing of music and accessibility of media meant that the desire to go to festivals and see their idols live for the first time. Marketers realised that people would happily wear the wristbands from a festival for months after the actual event. Meaning, free advertising for that particular event for most of the year.

Soon, everyone was eager to bring this marketing marvel to life for their own brand as it was clearly working. As such, you may remember the silicone wristband boom of the years 2004-2007 as a result. However, though the craze may have died down they are still a formidable marketing tool that can be used to spread your brand far and wide.

Lots of Arms in a Social Setting Wearing Silicone Wristbands

At Silicone Wristbands Direct, we want to help as much as we can, and with personalised silicone wristbands, you can start to raise awareness for your business or charity. Please feel free to get in touch with us today, and our team will be more than happy to answer any questions or discuss our range of products suitable for your charity.

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