Notes from the Mediascape: Two shades of Ray Ban’s image

A video of a young man getting the popular frames tattooed on his face was posted on the brand's social media networks - Radar DDB's Justin Young weighs in on why, despite negative reaction, the stunt will not alienate Ray Ban's more conservative consumers.

It’s the latest style of Ray Ban’s ubiquitous frames: this week a young man posted videos and a photo album of himself getting the branded glasses tattooed on his face. When a video and photo album of the tattoo artist at work was posted on Ray Ban’s Never Hide Films YouTube channel and Facebook page, reaction from the online community was swift and brutal.

But despite the fact that most comments are lambasting the man’s permanent decision, Justin Young, managing director of Radar DDB, believes the criticism will not put a stain on the brand’s image. That’s because Ray Ban has successfully built a social-media space where their more edgy Never Hide Films screen to a segregated, younger audience, he says.

‘The person who is walking into Sunglass Hut is probably not the same consumer that is on the social channels, and who they want to find this material,’ Young tells MiC. ‘You look at the print ads on the homepage of their website, and it’s quite consumer-focused, a little bit more conservative,’ he says.

While brand tattoos are not new in the marketing world – the Nike swoosh and Pepsi symbol were popular in the 1990s – a face tattoo is far less subtle. Voyeurs can even see the blood on his temples, leaking underneath the ink, and the man’s surprisingly serene girlfriend, looking on.

Despite naysayers out there who may think the brand has gone too far by exploiting the stunt, Young applauds Ray Ban’s creativity. ‘It makes people real and genuine,’ he says, ‘which, to the target, they’re able to get more engaged in it and have it be more believable.’

‘They’re unpredictable,’ says Young. ‘They seem like that classic brand that’s managed to stay relevant. They’re getting people talking – and they’re definitely talking.’