Behind the Work → London Tattoo
The authority on tattoo lifestyle and culture
Research & Insight
Activities: Desk research, digital audit, team member interviews, customer interviews, event immersion
1 in 3 adults in the U.S. and 1 in 5 in the U.K. are tattooed. There are 1,000+ tattoo studios in the U.K. with London at the epicentre of a rapidly growing, multi-billion pound industry.
Tattooing is vibrant but fragmented. Numerous micro, localised operators maintain strong followings and, in many cases, have done so for generations. Artists & Studios tend to specialise in certain styles – realism, traditional, tribal, blackwork, to name a few.
But the market has changed dramatically in recent years. Instagram has helped artists from across the world connect with broad, international audiences, leveraging their work to create mass followings; their channel acting as a defacto portfolio.
The London Tattoo Convention has been the leading tattoo-related event in Europe for a decade. The 3-day event welcomed 30,000 enthusiasts each year, growing year on year since inception, with a combined 300,000 social followers.
This following is loyal to the brand beyond the physical apex and have long engaged in content beyond the 3-day window. The opportunity was there for LTC to become a 365-day communicator from a single, digital hub, connecting with the community via regular content.
And it was clear that there was an opportunity to further leverage this content, enabling annual & occasional event sponsors to advertise on the new platform.
Our objective was to increase demand and visibility of the convention, craft a content platform that would attract and engage the vast user base, and ensure the platform was future-proofed for the event’s planned growth.
The business was undergoing a change internally too, embracing the breadth of the culture and converting from an outfdated ‘convention’ to a fully-fledged festival, simultaneously building a master brand for wider application beyond the event: London Tattoo.
The new brand identity had to be accessible and appeal to the mainstream. Immersion and digital review highlighted that the convention appealed to families as much as individuals, women as much as men. And the culture surrounding the event was equally inclusive. This was about a shared passion.
London Tattoo had the opportunity to lead from the front. This allowed us to incorporate content from other, theoretically-competing events with similar propositions by simply being bigger and better presented. London Tattoo could be the go-to provider even if the festival wasn’t your preferred European event.
Rather than working with Google Display Network – and losing control of site content – we worked with London Tattoo’s commercial partners to create a bespoke advertising platform. Sponsors could choose from a series of tiered options, including sidebar, in-post and banner adverts, with prices changing dynamically over the course of the year.
We built personas related to the regularity of immersion (casual, regular & avid) to ensure that users could take a top-line or in-depth journey. It became clear from interviews that the main draw was centred on the personality & work of the artists – hence the value of the Insta portfolio – so this had to be at the crux of every journey.
We had to balance the role of content creator – the long-term development of the brand – with event seller. This meant developing a prominent ‘advert’ for tickets that could operate for most of the year, with the capacity to takeover the site on the occasion of the festival, offering guides and live event information.
The content itself needed to be introduced to the audience, who had not seen anything in this vein before. To do so, we used series & categories to quickly educate the audience on what was to come and, ultimately, what would be worth coming back for. The industry is visual, and the content had to match, so the site leads with motion throughout, supported by imagery as the primary, static tool, then further supplemented by copy.
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