You know those New Era commercials with Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski? The ones where they play best frenemies with a healthy amount of fanaticism for their respective favorite MLB teams and the 110-or-so-year rivalry between their respective favorite MLB teams? So good, right?! They’re the kind of commercials that make you want to buy a New Era baseball cap just to support the brand that conceived of and/or paid for such a great marketing campaign. Or the kind of commercials that make you want to tune into whatever the brand that conceived of and/or paid for such a great marketing campaigin is up to next.
That’s part of the reason why I’ll be watching Tattoo Age. The other part is it looks good.
The original web series from New Era Caps and Vice Magazine’s VBS.TV follows the work, party, and at-home lives of at least five prominent tattoo artists and their employees, friends, and peers. NYCers Troy Denning, Dan Santoro, and Mike Rubendall, and Bay Areaers Freddy Corbin and Grime show off their work (which looks amazing, especially Santoro’s Day of the Dead meets Folk Art aesthetic) while talking about their art, history, and subculture.
It looks like an LA Ink with the staged drama and theatrics replaced by legitimate insight into what life is like for a tattoo artist who is not Kat Von D. For a branded entertainment campaign, there’s also limited product placement. Denning, Santoro, Rubendall, Corbin, and Grime’s subjects, friends and coworkers don New Era Caps in on camera portraits and interviews about the artists, but that looks to be the extent of the screen time devoted to the series’ presenting sponsor.
“There’s a whole small world to itself of tattoo culture, tattoo characters, and tattoo ways of live,” Grime says, “That are unlike what a lot of people experience.” Check out the premiere of Tattoo Age July 13 on VBS.TV to find out what he means.