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Tattooing Your Brand Love

Wrangler TattooLast 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 SwooshNike 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.

Consumer Tats:

Consumer 2

Geek Tats:

Geek Tattoos


Michael Jackson

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!


  1. January 22nd, 2008 at 06:09 | #1

    Does the brand of Texas count?

  2. virginia.miracle
    January 22nd, 2008 at 06:25 | #2

    A Texas tattoo fits the definition of brand on more than 1 level :-) Do you think the “brand” of Texas could ever morph into something you wouldn’t be proud of? Or is it just so huge and defined that it will stay true to itself no matter what?

  3. January 22nd, 2008 at 11:12 | #3

    I could see getting a tattoo of my own company’s logo… my creation. But not that of my boss. Not until he promises never to fire me.

  4. January 22nd, 2008 at 15:59 | #4

    I love ketchup more than any other person out there (at least according to Technorati….), but I don’t think I could get the ole Heinz ’57 logo tatted on my person.

  5. January 25th, 2008 at 11:16 | #5

    A sagging state of Texas could really be interesting in later years…why not just do the temporary tattoo thing?

  6. February 1st, 2008 at 23:08 | #6

    See, the thing is, the things I’m passionate enough about that I *could* get a tattoo about are specifically those things that *wouldn’t* get a tattoo about. LEGO, Apple, and Nike I’m completely loyal too. But seriously? A LEGO brick? An Apple logo? A swoosh.


    Here’s two more my favs:

  1. January 22nd, 2008 at 06:22 | #1