The rise of “tattoo-vertising”
It seems that the rising trend for logo tattoos has started being led by the companies themselves rather than devoted fans of the product. This form of guerrilla advertising is often dubbed “tattoo-vertising”.
An example of this was from Toyota who used forehead advertising to promote their new car the Scion tC. They hired 40 people to wear a temporary tattoo on their foreheads showing the brand name, car model and asking price.
An example of this was from Toyota who used forehead advertising to promote their new car the Scion tC. They hired 40 people to wear a temporary tattoo on their foreheads showing the brand name, car model and asking price. They were paid $11 an hour for the use of the advertising space on their heads, something that is being capitalised by the advertising agency CUNNING and is known as ForeheADS.
The aim of the stunt was to use non-traditional forms of advertising to reach consumers aged between 30 and 40. Forehead advertising has also been used in UK cities Leeds, London, Glasgow and Cardiff to promote a European TV channel.
Andrew Fischer, a 20 year old web designer managed to raise $37,375 for the use of his forehead to advertise the brand SnoreStop for a whole month by using a temporary tattoo to display their logo. He became an internet sensation known as the “Forehead Guy”.
In another advertising stunt, one woman shaved her head in order to display a temporary tattoo for the airline company Air New Zealand. A total of 30 people joined in on this “cranial billboard” campaign and received either a round-trip ticket to New Zealand or $777 in cash. FeelUnique.com also used temporary tattoos on 10 people’s eyelids, paying them $149 to wink at passers-by and showing the website address.
However three individuals have taken this a step further, offering to have permanent tattoos of company logos and websites in exchange for money. Kari Smith received $10,000 from Canadian internet gambling company Golden Palace to have their website address inked onto her face. This is not the first time they have used these methods to advertise, previously involving both permanent and temporary tattoos on the backs of fighters during a match, pregnant ladies’ bumps, women's legs and even the chest of a swimsuit model. Karolyne Williams sold the ad space on her forehead to Golden Palace for $10,000 to fund schooling for her children, meaning she now has their website address permanently on her face. She has now covered this with a full fringe hairstyle so it is not visible.
Billy the Human Billboard has been selling space on his face and body for several years in order to raise funds and provide for his family. With more than 20 facial tattoo ads including porn site addresses, Billy is now known worldwide. He has legally changed his name to “Hostgator Dotcom”, as well as being a living organ and blood donor in order to raise money. He is now wanting to get the facial designs removed and is hoping to fund the removal by selling space on his arms, chest and legs.
Joe Tamargo has 15 website tattoos all over his body, making over $200,000 for the privilege. However several of the sites no longer exist, resulting in the tattoos being both unsightly and useless.