As a recent college graduate, my friends and I have joked casually about the many ways that we could acquire money to quickly pay off our student loan debts. One of our jested ideas involved receiving tattoos (real or temporary) from companies that wanted us to be their walking billboards. Little did I know that this marketing/advertising/public relations endeavor had already been in use and was rather successful! Not everyone is a fan of tattoos, but it seems that they are becoming more socially and professionally acceptable each year. Could this be the future of marketing, advertising and public relations? Here are some interesting examples of the many ways that tattoos are being used for promotional efforts:
Chanel Temporary Tattoos
In 2010, Chanel released their own lavished temporary tattoos to the public. They were sold in packs of 55 for £49, which is about $78. Chanel brought temporary tattoos back to the catwalk this year for Chanel 2012/2013 Cruise Collection at Chateau de Versailles. There has been no word on whether these tattoos will be available for purchase.
Thierry Mugler’s Latest Tattooed Fashion Muse: Rick Genest
Many know Rick Genest as Zombie Boy for the corpse tattoo that covers most of his body. The Canadian artist turned fashion model gained world-wide media attention through his Facebook page which gained over a million followers. He is the latest muse of MUGLER and can be seen in their 2011 Autumn/Winter men’s collection, Vogue Hommes Japan, GQ Style (UK) and in Lady Gaga’s video for “Born This Way”.
Air New Zealand
In 2009, 30 people were chosen to shave their heads and receive henna tattoos stating, “Need a change? Head down to New Zealand.” The people chosen in their efforts to create cranial billboards were awarded a round-trip ticket to New Zealand ($1,200) or $777 (an allusion to the Boeing 777 airplane). Picked for their ability to be fantastic brand ambassadors, the individuals were either expatriates or had previously been to New Zealand and were interested in returning.
Volvo utilized tattoos by creating a fictional character whose tattoos spelled out the coordinates of an undersea location of $50,000 in gold coins and the keys to a new car. This tattoo promotion was a unique attempt to help get people to think differently about the brand.
The Human Billboard
Boxer Billy Gibby, aka “The Human Billboard”, is going for a Guinness World Record for the most corporate logos tattooed on a human body. In 2010, Billy had 26 sponsored tattoos on various locations of his body. On his blog he lists the advertising prices for size and location of the tattoo. The highest price is set at $20,000 for a 6” by 1” tattoo on his forehead.
Interested in offering your body to advertisers? Learn more about the advertisement tattoo phenomenon at Leaseyourbody.com. This website connects advertisers with people who want to be paid for sporting tattoo advertisements.