Team One on the Indian Motorcycle "Indian Motorcycle Ink" Campaign.

AdForum sat down with Geoff Vreeken, Associate Creative Director at Team One to discuss the agency's unique work on the Indian Motorcycle Ink campaign.

By: Sarah Cullen 

AdForum: Where did the idea to tattoo someone with motorcycle burnout come from?

Geoff: Years ago, I watched some clips on the internet showing how prison tattoos were made. They burn various substrates to make carbon, mix it with alcohol and water, and voila — tattoo ink is created. Turns out the professional process is similar, albeit much more refined. That little nugget was filed away somewhere in my brain. 

AdForum: Why was Carey Hart chosen as the face of Indian Motorcycle Ink?

Geoff: Our client has a long-running relationship with the freestyle motocross legend Carey Hart, and suggested we ask him to use one of his Indian Motorcycles, and get the tattoo. This was an unexpected, but absolutely fantastic, celebrity addition to the project. We also discovered that Carey happens to own a chain of tattoo shops. We ended up shooting the film at Carey’s ranch, tattooing the ink from his bike on his neck, and distributing the ink at his shops (Hart & Huntington). 

AdForum: Motorcycle enthusiasts who say riding is in their blood now have a way to prove it, but how did you ensure that the ink was safe?

Geoff: We contacted Franco Vescovi, one of the world’s most premier ink makers to ask if the project was feasible. He actually has experience with combining the ashes of deceased loved ones into tattoo ink, so carbon from a burnout was actually less of a challenge — in terms of sterilization. Franco distilled, mixed, sterilized, bottled and sealed every drop of Indian Motorcycle Ink. 

AdForum: Congratulations on winning Indian Motorcycle media duties earlier this year; what factors do you think contributes to Team One and Indian Motorcycle making such a good team?

Geoff: We’re both after something remarkable. Something that has substance and is memorable. There’s a shared understanding that being great isn’t easy. And we’re both prepared to go the extra mile. 

AdForum: Indian Motorcycle Ink now allows fans to really bond with the brand. What type of response did this campaign get?

Geoff: Incredible. We’ve been picked up by countless Motorcycle, tattoo and creative publications, and garnered millions of social impressions. As of today, half a dozen tattoos have been given with Indian Motorcycle Ink, with many more appointments on the books through each Hart & Huntington location. We expect the ink to be gone forever within the next month. Motorcycle sales data has yet to come in, but we expect gains to be substantial. 


Geoff Vreeken, Associate Creative Director, Team One