Last year, tattoos put their indelible stamp on the TV industry with two cable shows, Miami Ink and Inked, about the art. This year, the trend has spread to marketing, as some brands try to make their mark with tattooed products and ads.
So far this year, Converse has rolled out a tattooed version of its Chuck Taylor sneaker, Captain Morgan has released a rum called Tattoo and R.J.Reynolds has run ads for its Camel Wides cigarettes featuring an illustration by tattoo artist Scott Campbell. Also, Armani Exchange re-cently ran a print ad featuring a tattooed model and Dodge has an ad for its Caliber in which an owner tattoos his car.
Rock outfit Eagles of Death Metal, whose album Death By Sexy hit the top of the Soundscan chart a few weeks ago, visited Philly ad agency Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) recently as Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) shot a viral music video for the song "Don't Speak (I Came To Make A Bang)." Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) will also do an Eagles of Death Metal video project destined for iFilm, owned by MTV Networks.
Philadelphia may be the home of brotherly love, but you wouldn't know it from talking to Steven Grasse, chairman and creative director of Quaker City Mercantile, the city's hippest and most creative ad/design/marketing firm.
More trash than usual outside its Walnut Street offices? That's cuz Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) (and its gallery/T-shirt offshoot Sailor Jerry) is moving into the 13th Street porn emporium building come June.
"Smokers Always Welcome"
When a new business opens on Milwaukee Avenue between North and Division, most jaded Wicker Park hipsters respond with an indifferent shrug. The vacant space that once housed Soul Kitchen becomes Francesca's Forno. An American Apparel appears out of nowhere with an Urban Outfitters quick on its heels. It's an endlessly shifting landscape that's always oddly familiar in its would-be quirky trendiness, but after a certain point the permutations blend together and it all becomes a blur of restaurants, bars and boutiques. Maybe that's why nobody batted an eye when Marshall McGearty's Tobacco Lounge opened. Not in that sense that it went unnoticed - there was a gala opening in January, and the place is raking in dough in light of the recent Chicago smoking ban - but more in the sense that not too many people seem to be aware that it's owned and operated by tobacco giant RJ Reynolds.
Reading Sailor Jerry's five-point corporate mission statement will give you a pretty good feel for the brand. The first point: "Avoid becoming Von Dutch at all costs!" The second: "keep our clothing off over-exposed celebrities!"
The edgy offshoot of buzz-making Philadelphia based ad agency Quaker City Mercantile (formerly known as Gyro Worldwide) sells clothes and other products adorned with the gritty, groundbreaking tattoo artwork of the legendary Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins, who died in 1973.