Game of Thrones Weirdest Marketing Tie-In Yet: Free Tattoos from NY INK!

Buzzfeed's Tanner Ringerud gets a GoT tattoo (Buzzfeed)

Last night when Don Draper (almost) met the Rolling Stones on Mad Men, we couldn’t help but be reminded of those old crossover cartoons…like The Flintstones meet The Jetsons, or when the Harlem Globetrotters helped out Scooby Doo. Of course Don Draper doesn’t like Mick Jagger and his sexy ways, and is worried about the dope-smoking children who worship the band. (Don Draper, you are old.) Still, he went to the concert because he needed the Stones to sign on for a commercial with Heinz.

(Spoiler alert) Of course it doesn’t happen, because the Stones were way too cool for Ketchup and beans. But since last night was also the season 2 premiere of HBO’s D&D Level 8 nerd series Game of Thrones, it’s interesting to compare how far modern ad execs (excuse us, brand managers) will go to have an unrelated product associated with their show.

Like say:  free GoT sigil tattoos by the people from NY Ink, a reality show on TLC. On Friday, the first 50 people who lined up outside the Wooster Street Social Club (where NY Ink is filmed) were given their choice of one of five house insignia relating to the George R. R. Martin books. (Sorry, Littlefinger fans: the mockingbird was not available for a freebie.)

Buzzfeed’s Tanner Ringerud braved the line (we hope his health insurance plan covers tattoo removals) and came out with his very own stag’s head: a symbol of the Baretheons.

We asked Mr. Ringerud about why he chose (former) King Robert’s house insignia, and the kind of people who were in the line and not doing it for a work prank. He wrote back:

The mix of people in line was pretty diverse. There were a lot of GoT nerds in line, and a lot of tattoo enthusiasts. Luckily, the crossover in the venn diagram of those two fan cultures seems to be pretty big, so I doubt anyone was there just to get a free tattoo. Everyone seemed genuinely excited to be getting a GoT tattoo.

For the most part, everyone seemed like they knew what they wanted when they came in. I sat there for a couple hours, and saw a lot of people leaving with Stark and Lannister tattoos. There were plenty of Baratheons as well, and slightly fewer Targaryens. I didn’t see a single person get a Greyjoy tattoo, but I heard the tattoo artists saying that a few people had gotten them. The Greyjoys were the least popular by far, but they’re terrible characters so that’s not really any surprise.
Actually, we’re not surprised that people didn’t want a Greyjoy tattoo, because their symbol is a giant octopus. Gross. Why not get a Lannister lion or a Stark direwolf or a Targaryen dragon?
At least now those 50 people can go home assured that they are completely individual and unique in their love of Game of Thrones: there were only about 10 other people who had gotten the exact same free tattoo as them that day.
Game of Thrones Weirdest Marketing Tie-In Yet: Free Tattoos from NY INK!