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April 22, 2007

The Brand Name Tattoo Aesthetic, Or Is It?

tattoo adThere’s an interesting article today in the New York Times magazine describing the "," or how tattoo art and imagery is slowly but surely being co-opted by everyone from well known NBA stars to big names in rock and fashion.

Today, it seems just as easy to find, for example, the Colonel on somebody's arm in the form of a as on a billboard.

This is not , where you gauge the value of a brand name by how many people are willing to have it indelibly printed on their bodies (think bikers and Harley Davidson or William H Macy and his hilarious in ).

No, this is the transformation of tattoo art into advertising.

Now, tattoos have become so ubiquitous in our culture that advertisers are literally hiring real tattoo artists to represent their company name or brand name — tattoo-fashion — in their ads and promotional material. There is still an authenticity and romance to the tattoo and its artistry that lends a mystique to brands, especially iconic brands.

It’s interesting to see how in the age of hi-tech art and computer graphics, marketers seem to want to promote their brand names using an art form that has been around for centuries.

Personally, I have never nor will I ever consider a tattoo. But many others will and do. How do you feel about tattooing in advertising and marketing?

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Posted by William Lozito at April 22, 2007 10:11 AM
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We live in a world where one of the biggest tattoos is the Nike swoosh. In fact, I think the swoosh is just as, if not more, emblamatic of the tattoo industry in general as it is of the sneaker industry.

Not least are the Nike employees who call themselves EKINS who tattooed themselves with the swoosh as a sign of devotion to the company...sort of the way Marines tattoo themselves with their units and sailors tattoo the name of their boat to their bodies.

Nike also is into using Tattoo art.

Today, people want to live inside the brand and yet they also want to seem authentic and unique. Putting your brand name permanently on your body is a mark of devotion and ownership of the brand.

William H Macy's Apple is uniquely HIS APPLE just like when you attach the name of the warship you serve on to your body, it becomes YOURS.

I think tattoos are an excellent pulsepoint for sussing whether a brand is in the Zeitgeist. College mascots, military emblems, and Google. Why is Google something someone gets tattooed on their body and how can one make a brand so compelling that one neededn't pay to put it there on your deltoid. Right?

Have you checked out PostieCon? Seems like it would be the kind of conference that would really appeal to folks who are into branding and brand management. Also, community-building and reputation management. Lots of great stuff. Anyway, worth a look.

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