Popularity and fame is desirable for any ad campaign. But when it garners such a following that it brings in ‘fan art’, you’ve set the bar pretty high. So, what about when it inspires people to go a step further and tattoo themselves?

FCB New Zealand’s “Swim Reaper” campaign for Water Safety New Zealand was proclaimed an “Instagram star” by international media last year, racking up more than 200,000 followers. But now this sociopathic anti-influencer has gone to a whole new level of fandom.

It’s one of the more hilarious aspects of fame – fan art is known more for the failed attempts at flattery than the successes.

Nevertheless, flattering it is – they’ve taken the time to try and craft a tribute to someone they’ve never met, but admire greatly. It’s normally an honour reserved for movie stars and recording artists, so it’s pretty crazy to think that a campaign for water safety now finds itself in that hallowed company. Even more impressively/disturbingly, there are actually some fans wanting to ink the ‘the reapy one’ onto their bodies.

Social media campaigns are often judged on their engagement with their audience – how much they like, share and comment. So, how do you rate one that inspires this level of engagement?

You can follow the Swim Reaper’s on-going exploits here: https://www.instagram.com/iamtheswimreaper/

Who knows? You might even get some inspiration for your next tattoo.

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