RICHMOND, Va. — Some people passionate about Duke's mayonnaise showed their enthusiasm by getting a tattoo Friday.
Duke's teamed up with Yellow Bird Tattoo in Richmond to offer free mayo-themed tattoos with several designs available.
Duke's is owned by The C.F. Sauer Company, which is headquartered in Richmond.
Brand manager Rebecca Lupesco insisted Duke’s was more than just mayo and is a cult brand.
"For a long time people have been tattooing Duke's onto their bodies,” Lupesco said. “And it's not just tattoos, it's like jewelry and artwork,and just finding ways to express it in their everyday lives. And so this was really just an event to celebrate that passion and give our consumers a little bit of fun to remember the brand with."
Rival mayo brand Hellman's created a stir online when the Unilever-owned condiment launched its own tattoo event.
Twitter is seeing some verbal sparring between the two legacy brands.
Tattoos are a way to 'bring the brand to life, Lupesco says
Lupesco said last monththat the idea for hosting this eccentric event in Richmond was stimulated by a number of things.
Duke's was created and is still produced in South Carolina, but they are headquartered in Richmond. In addition to that, Richmond is known for its foodie and tattoo culture.
And if you've ever worked in the restaurant business, you know those things can kind of go hand-in-hand.
Duke's recently started producing a series called "House of Twang" on their website, where they feature behind-the-scenes views into iconic southern restaurants that, of course, use their mayonnaise. One of the restaurants featured was Cobra Burger, located at 400 N 27th Street.
Members of the staff collectively got Duke's-themed tattoos at Yellow Bird after the feature, which is part of what helped inspire the partnership.
While it may seem crazy to permanently tattoo your love for a condiment on your body forever, it's not the wildest request the brand has experienced.
Lupesco said they receive fan art all the time, everything from paintings to jewelry, and they even get requests for empty Duke's jars for people to use as an urn for family members' ashes.
"The jar and the brand do really well, like in this creative art space, and tattoos are just another way to, you know, bring the brand to life basically," said Lupesco.
The company created a special Instagram account (@dukesmayotattoos) where they are featuring fan tattoos from the event, as well as photos of other Duke's-themed tattoos they get sent to them.
Lupesco added, "It's really supposed to be just a fun way to kind of show your love for maybe the mayonnaise, Richmond, for tattoos and of course, for food in general."