Marketing With Tattoos

Continuing this discussion of mainstreaming, I’m in 7/11 this morning and they have a new energy drink called “Inked”. It’s got a faux-tribal border, a “rock” font, and a neo-Japanese wave in the middle, and the flavor is called “Razzle Dazzle” — could there be a more embarrassing name? It’s as if they’re making fun of you for buying it. I’m reminded of the scene in Family Guy where Lois is running for mayor, and realizes that just by saying “9-11″ and “Jesus” and “terrorists” Giuliani-style, all of a suddenly the crowd starts cheering and buys whatever she’s saying… What, are tattoo fans so gullible that they’ll buy an energy drink just because it says “cool razzle dazzle tatties” on it?*


* Yes, I bought it. It tastes like a sort of watered down “Tahiti Treat”.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

67 thoughts on “Marketing With Tattoos

  1. Haha my partner works for a company who designs concepts like this. They made one directed at tennis players not long ago here in italy called Raquette. And just because the country was experiencing a 6 month tennis fever they sold huge amounts, as the trend has died so has the product.

    Maybe if the miami ink phase dies this drink will to lol!

  2. It’s funny because there is an energy drink in Australia called “mother” and some of the advertising material for that would look great as a tattoo..
    evil vines flowers and venus fly traps and birds being eaten.

    That drink however is hilarious, especially the flavour.

  3. Don’t care to try it, since i dont buy energy drinks. HOWEVER! Dude you got some nice looking nails….Do you have them done or what? im just sayin’….

  4. on one hand, i don’t *want* to buy this because it’ll just lend credence to their silly marketing campaign.. but tahiti treat was delicious.. decisions, decisions.

  5. …You do have really nice nails. I’d never spotted that before.

    We’ve got something similar over here called Relentless, which has ruined my planned first tattoo – They’ve started putting a bit from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage [But I have lived, and have not lived in vain; My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire; And my frame perish even in conquering pain; But there is that within me which shall tire Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire.] on the cans – Something which I’ve wanted to get inked since I was fourteen and first read it in school.

    Damned marketing buffs. Then again, the stuff tastes like sweeties and does its job well, so I can’t begrudge them.

  6. this showed up at my 7-11 about 6 months ago. along with an oversized, glossy madison ave looking tattoo mag by the same name.

    myself, i’ve always preferred bawls ( ) who, strangely enough, now seem to be selling paintball gear with their name all over it.

  7. I forgot to mention – they’ve got Bud Light mixed with clamato a couple doors down from the Inked.

    Just… strange, the things you find at 7-11

  8. Everything sort of fits into a certain “Hardcore” niche there – the font, the name, the tribal tattoo designs, the wave – but razzle dazzle? Just where does that fit in?

  9. Donald Rumsfeld presents Inked “Razzle Dazzle” – the drink that tastes like watered-down Tahiti Treat.

    Do they still sell Tahiti Treat? I used to love that as a kid but I haven’t seen it around in almost a decade.

  10. Shannon, it’s kind of funny thst you not only bought it, but are now giving them free press in the biggest forum of their target market. Score one for them I guess.

    #11, you just admitted to preferring the taste of bawls…..

  11. ahh yes…”chikara”..the Japanese word meaning power, capability, or influence….that make much more sense…i need glasses….they should have just put the “strength” kanji on there, that really would have appealed to the tattoo “mainstream”

  12. Damn you Arch-Typical – you made my comment before me!!!!

    Does the lame factor of this product say more about the marketing people or the target audience, though?

  13. I drink arizona green tea. It has some pretty traditional looking japanese trees on it and I thought to myself, that almost looks like a tattoo! I must buy it! Man, considering how cool that can looks, it must be good! I have to get my tattooed hands on some of that! Cheers to you megacorp inc. for peddling anything you can to try to make a buck off a part of society you bitch about at home! I think ill get all buzzed up on this tatt-a-licious drink and go to my local beauty parlour and get some gun piercings! then im going to superstore usa cuz they sell real body jewelry in high quality 316l. I know that means super good quality!
    By now I hope you picked up on the sarcasm in this little rant.

  14. Energy drinks seem to be the new perfume of marketing. It’s understandable in a way. They’re roughly the same (lots of sugars, some caffeine and a few amino acids), they don’t taste especially good (which isn’t their function anyway) and even if they did you can’t really “show” that they taste good (they’ll look the same as any beverage). You can argue yours is better at energizing, but most users aren’t going to believe you. So how do you sell sugar with caffeine and a few supplements for two bucks a pop (which would buy a lot more of all in the pharmacy isle and the baking isle)? Same as regular pop – hype – but the ante is higher with the higher markup. Therefore you have no choice but to go whole hog and also leave shame at home before coming to work.

  15. Speaking of the whole mainstream/advertising thing, last week when I was getting my taxes done at a local H&R block they had large poster sized ads on the wall. On one of these ads had a girl with a lip ring. I couldn’t help but think of modblog when I saw it.

  16. I wonder if the back of the can has text describing the meaning behind all of the can’s various “tats”

  17. I’m so gullible I’ll buy an energy drink just because it says “Energy” on it. Sobe No Fear has crack in it, I swear. I can’t stop drinking them. And they are delicious, in my opinion.

  18. Things like this make me glad I really did change my major in college..I love graphic design, but I hate marketing..I was told I’d be good in the industry, but it’s too subliminal and too much time inside..I’m already modified visibly, but that’s not stopping me from going into environmental sciences, which is what I wanted to do in the first place..Being outside gives me a reason to be creative in the first place..I’ve got one leg with nothing on it yet, and it’s being saved for a marine biology inspired theme..Abyssal creatures are fun to draw and would be awesome in a tattoo on me. I should include Marlin from Finding Nemo exploding in the abyss, because that’s what would really happen. [I laugh at the people who really were inspired by that movie to study the ocean, cuz they really think it's true in alot of it..It was inaccurate on purpose!!]

  19. As Orange-Film-Funding guy might say; This Razzle-Dazzles my Fantazmagazzle…..

    I don’t get the drink though. The tribal part and the wave, OK. But why call it Inked?!

  20. I keep thinking of Dr. Seuss, from One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish:

    This one, I think
    Is called a Yink
    It likes to drink and drink and drink
    The thing it likes to drink is Inked
    The Inked it likes to drink is pink
    It likes to wink and drink pink Inked

  21. haha my favorite is the “maori” one haha hell, i bought em cuz they were cheap and buy one get one. i usually ignore labels(especially ingrediants, they confuse me)

  22. I would imagine the target demographics would not be “people with tattoos”, but “people with _flash_ tattoos”. (And by which I mean to discriminate with a vile vitrolic attitude between the custom work of a small tattoo parlour artisan and the generic flash stamp of a shopping center store that happens to perform something akin to tattooing on even days.) The drink manufacturer might not know the difference, but of course we do.

  23. #8 – Where I come from, Relentless is know as ‘Greebo Juice’ ;D

    And the wave bit looks OK…
    The rest… not so sure…

  24. hey im not sure but didnt this go up has a post a while back ago ? ( i could be loosing it )

  25. Mr.C: I live in Canada and I distinctly remember it being called Tahiti Treat…so Tahitian Treat may have been the US name, but I could be wrong.

  26. I bought this like 3 months ago because it was buy one get one.. and still cheap..

    It was disgusting.. so I didn’t drink the free one and bought my beloved Rockstar instead :)

  27. We’ve got an energy drink in NZ called “Demon” It tastes like Red Bull but it has a funny warning on it.
    “Not intended for lactating woman, children or latte drinking, man-bag carrying wuss bags”

  28. I drank one a couple of weeks ago and thought it tasted pretty good… then again I think half of it was vodka.
    It was cheap enough, tasted alright, and did what it was suppose to (be a good energy drink that mixed fairly well) so I can’t really complain.
    They’ll put anything on a label if they think it will help it sell.

  29. AHhh ha ha! I can’t stop Chicago (the musical, not the band) lyrics from running through my head now! You get those energy drink consumers, Billy Flynn!!

  30. Tahitian Treat was the US name. Tahiti Treat was the Canadian name. Now you can’t get it ANYWHERE but in a couple states, I think.
    The Canadian version was less carbonated.

  31. #32 LarrySDonald – Werd.

    To others who asked, yes it says “CHIKARA” on the bottom which is strength/power in Japanese (original 力) which just makes more eye-rolling goodness, from my admittedly limited POV.

    Arizona green tea has sugar in it, my friends always wondering about that, it’s a very fusion thing to do. Alien. But, YMMV.

    I’m consistently amused at the marketing for energy drinks in the USA, particularly the “Xtreme!!11!1!” angle, because as I recall energy drinks from my childhood (in Japan) they came in small medicinal type bottles, and they were not cool, they were a geeky thing that overworked salarymen drank. I.e., “The Man,” flannel suit and all, was the target market.

    Me, I stick to coffee.

  32. If you also walk into the parlor and choose some flash tattoo (or choose a nautical star at home), then yes, I’ll bet a good chunk are in fact that gullible.

  33. This clearly should be enjoyed in an “ed hardy” pint glass. Which can be found at most retailers, including ross. Along with the matching shot glasses and plates.

    Cause as we all know, nothing says class like plates with matching shot glasses.

  34. haha, that’s so outrageous.

    has anyone ever drank lost? the can has some pretty silly designs, but it’s one of my favorite energy drinks. it’s just kind of hard to find.
    most of the time i drink nos, which doesn’t have a lot of designs on it(blue bottle, orange cap, label), but is full of passion fruit tastyness instead of strange carbonated chalk candy taste.

  35. The best energy drink concept I found was “Whoopass”. I kid you not. Terrible taste, great name, hours of fun. For taste, I like an orange Monster :)

  36. hahaha I remember being such an outcast because of tattoos…that I’m now old fool enough to buy almost anything that says “razzle dazzle tattoozle” on it. I even have a few of the nylon tattoo “sleeve” costumes, and stuff like that.

    can’t seem to help myself. but not tribal. if it has tribal I leave it alone.

  37. Funniest energy drink I’ve found was the 24 energy drink.

    Also: Along with Relentless, there’s now Relentless Inferno (Orange sherbert flavour) and Relentless Juiced (half juice.)

    Orange Sherbert Relentless has a Lord Byron poem on the back.

    It truly is Goth Red Bull.

  38. A little late but:
    Not only are they marketing energy drinks to the tattooed folk, there is also a new one I found tonight that is being marketed towards women. It’s called “Pink Energy” and it’s diet. It comes in a pink can and has a set of lips printed on the front. Thank god because you know, those other ones were way to masculine for me to drink.

  39. I’m not personally tattooed, having said that i agree that this is a bit queer. i was shocked enough that they had made a TV show about tats, but a f**king beverage? its sad how far MTV has dragged actual sub cultures through the mud. but thats life i suppose.

    * breef foot note. i use the word queer to mean odd.

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