Remember when PR companies started paying people to put branded temporary tattoos on their heads? (Hey, it worked!) Meanwhile, the “buy my face” website — which enlists people to paint ads on their faces for a full year, also for money — is still happening, too. But a Japanese PR agency called Absolute Territory PR has taken the human billboard movement from weird to icky with their latest outreach strategy, which gets young women (girls, really) to put stick-on tattoos on the naked stretch of thigh that’s commonly displayed thanks to their schoolgirl uniform of knee socks and skirts.
According to recent reports, Absolute Territory kicked off (sorry) the campaign in Tokyo last year, and so far, over 1,300 women have signed up. Participants are required to be at least 18 years old and have a social media account connected to at least twenty people. They get to pick their own sticker ad, which they are then contractually obligated to wear for at least eight hours a day for a certain period of time. Although they’re supposedly paid, the actual salary amounts are unclear. They must also prove that they’ve posted pictures of said thigh ads to their social media accounts — not creepy at all.
So, who’s footing the bill (sorry again — it’s Friday) for this kind of advertising? Japanese businesses, apparently, as well as local promoters for the new Green Day album, ¡UNO!. The most disturbing part of all this is that it’s probably a really effective strategy.