Putting Real Skin the Advertising Game

Advertising on women's thighsAdvertising is everywhere – maybe some places it shouldn’t be.

Imagine you’re walking down the street, and a young girl in a short skirt is coming toward you. Nothing unusual about that, until you notice an advertisement pasted on her leg, just under her hemline.

What’s the ad for? Does it matter? Would you take note of the business, thinking: what a bold idea? Or would you look away somewhat embarrassed?

Believe or not, this is a real thing in Japan. The business news website Quartz published an article on this new trend, which some are calling “skinvertising.” The author, Siraj Datoo, tells how a Tokyo PR firm pays women to wear stickers on their thighs promoting their clients’ products:

“The going rate on each thigh, according to the company, is $121 per day. The 3,000 Japanese women who signed up to participate will slap stickers on their thighs in exchange for that sum. The campaigns, which began rolling out earlier this year, so far have included plugs for the movie Ted and the band Green Day.”

And the idea has caught on in the U.S., too. You might remember the real estate company that gave raises to employees who got tattoos of its logo. There’s even a company that specializes in turning people into human billboards.

Just goes to show that advertising really is everywhere these days.

I’m all for creative marketing. In fact, I think too many businesses err on the side of caution, when taking a creative risk could help them stand out in a crowded marketplace. Then again, there’s creative and there’s just plain head-scratching strange.

There’s no word on whether the Tokyo company’s stunt worked – if top-of-thigh equals top-of-mind. (Though I’m guessing most businesses don’t want the kind of customers who leer at young girls’ legs.)

Of course, we offer creative advertising services that help businesses get noticed, too. But if you’re looking for something truly weird, well, I know a great PR firm in Japan.

What do you think? Does “skinvertising” make your skin crawl? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo: ITN

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