Until recently I've never thought about using my body to make money. I'm tall and thin, with wiry muscles, chicken legs, and a slowly invading beer belly. I'm definitely not thinking of hittin' the streets... yet.
But my current situation (note that I'm not bringing up the current economy - I'd be in this pickle regardless thanks to divorce and the geographic area I landed in) has me thinking that I may make an excellent billboard... in a pale, malnourished kind of way. But that's not the kind of thing you want to stick a product placement on.
Or is it?
Take this guy, for example:
And this is not an odd thing.
Leasing your body for advertising is a rapidly growing trend. In digging around, I found a couple of companies that realize the potential financial boon of marketing on skin.
Lease Your Body acts as a broker for advertisers to find individuals willing to wear temporary tattoos of product/service logos.
Take this pretty woman, for example:
Sarah Dee (a Hooters waitress) + temporary tattoo
I initially thought that $200 was a bit low to temporarily deface your... face. But, Ms. Dee had a point when asked about this. "It's not that hard of a job," she said.
I concur. You can't get much easier, actually.
And the rates are actually enticing - anywhere from $100 to $5000, depending on the body part. Lease Your Body takes a portion of the fee paid to the living billboards in exchange for brokering the transaction between the advertising company and the person getting the logo temporarily pasted on their head... or wherever...
Another walking advertisement broker is Body Billboardz.
While their website offered cursory information to investors and such, it did have a nicely categorized listing of people willing to advertise on their bodies - organized by body part.
Click on any category - let's say "Oh my!! You Choose Where Advertising" for example. This links you to a selection of members ready for you to offer them money in exchange for body advertising. It's that simple.
If I understand correctly, Body Billboardz charges the individual wishing to be tattooed a certain amount to advertise their body on the site. I'm not sure if they take a percentage from the fee paid or not...
Are advertisers keen on this controversial marketing tool?
With many in the United States having a predetermined disposition towards tattoos, usually not in a positive light, there are some naysayers. Some see body advertising as just another marketing novelty... a trend that will soon disappear. Others see it in the black & white perspective of your standard tattoo hater: you're defacing your body. It doesn't seem to matter that this is a temporary tattoo. Only that it is something on your body that wasn't there when God put his little finger on your bottom and sprung you to life.
My perspective (like it matters?) is easy. I need the money. I have no tattoos, permanent or temporary - yet. But cash is a good thing right now...
I could soon look like this:
C'mon, guys... I'm worth at least $15.
SOURCES: Lease Your Body, Body Billboards, CNET News