Tatto parlayed: Are tattoo ads wave of future in marketing?

05/11/14 by Rennie Detore

Even if you're not a NASCAR fan, you have to marvel at the cars whipping around the race track at 200 miles per hour and the outfits worn by the drivers.
They're racing and walking billboards, respectively. The one piece jump suits or uniforms you see on the drivers are littered with patches, logos and anything else that helps raise awareness for a particular sponsor.
If you can catch a glimpse of the cars, they're more of the same.

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Advertising with NASCAR typically is reserved for the retail heavy hitters like Tide, Goodwrech, GEICO, FedEx and McDonald's, and sponsorship often can tip the scales in the millions of dollar range.
That's small potatoes for those aforementioned companies, but what if prospective businesses took the NASCAR approach when it comes to how they market their products? How exactly would they go about touting their brand, what they do and how they can help consumers?
And, more important, what if they took that mentality from temporary to permanent?
When you think marketing and advertising, rarely does the word "tattoo" come into the equation, but that changed recently when a story broke about a 20 year old girl, Nikkole Paulun, who got a tattoo of the name of a local tanning salon in Michigan on her arm. She sent a picture to Twitter and commented how the tattoo gave her free tanning "for life" at this location.
Paulun gained notoriety for being one of the cast members of "16 & Pregnant."
As inane and shocking as the idea of tattooing a logo of a store or retailer on your body is, you can to ask whether this sentiment might turn from sporadically done to commonplace. You have to think that the actual merchants, especially those that are considered reputable, aren't going to seek out prospective customers to go through this medieval form of marketing.
Could you imagine Target telling the 100th customer that they'll get a free TV if they get the trademark bull's eye on their chest? What about Apple encouraging its following that the apple logo would look great if it was permanently on their neck?
That isn't going to happen, but that doesn't mean some won't take bad, individual decision making to a level that is laughable and highly ill advised. Take the Lexington, Kentucky, man who got a KFC tattoo to express his admiration for a chicken sandwich, the "Double Down." The ad is part of a KFC commercial, and one has to wonder if KFC concocted this idea within their advertising kitchen or if the man found them.
Let's hope it's the latter, for the sake of KFC and its image as it pertains to marketing.
That said, if KFC decided to go this route on their own accord, they might be the first in a long line of national brands that initially balk at the idea of tattoos on customers as advertising, then begin to soften their subsequent stance.
What might start out as a cute trend will most likely transform into troublesome.

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