Tattooing Your Brand Love
Last night, whilst watching something shameful off my DVR (ah, strike TV), I saw a self-described redneck get a tattoo of a Wrangler jeans label on the part of his body over which that label would normally sit.
So that started me thinking, why do people make their brand love permanent with tattoos? I understand the desire to closely associate with a brand whose philosophy you share, but brands are run by people and change over time. It takes extreme faith in a company’s desire to stay true to the brand’s meaning to break out needles.
Nike is so enamored of the idea of their employees making a permanent commitment, that in Fall 2000, they brought tattoo artists to campus “just in case there was interest” and about 30 “Ekins” (Nike spelled backwards) took the plunge. The phenomenon of the swoosh tattoo rippled out from there. Another extreme example of brand tattooing is Disney Tattoo Guy, who sports Disney icons on 90% of his body. Permanent promotion! Maybe tattoo artists should be brought to more gatherings of brand fans “just in case” someone decides to join the tribe.
Below, I am sharing a smattering of brand tattoos that I found particularly entertaining – the final being a potentially cautionary tale about how tattoo meanings can change as brands do.
And, oh, how things change…
Are there any brands for which you feel such a passion that you’d make it permanent? And I thought a weekend was a commitment!