It was fascinating the first time I saw a domestic car with a commercial ad plastered across its doors some years ago. At that point, only public transport and corporate vans had those. Even today, brand advertisements on personal cars remain a rare sight. So you can imagine how I took the news of this armpit business.
At rates of ¥10,000 (S$124) for an hour of exposure, Wakino ad company already has a client, albeit one too relevant, on its payroll. Underarm hair removal service Seishin Biyo clinic is also slated to be joined by Beauty brand Liberta. What then, does this mean for us? Apart from shaving.
We shouldn’t be surprised.
This is not the first time body parts have been used as ad space. Five years ago, skinvertising rose to fame. Female legs were used for marketing campaigns via temporary tattoos, with as many as 3000 women registering to advertise for movie Ted. Human billboards are no new concept either. We’ve had them walking around since the dawn of advertising a century ago.
At what point is ‘easy money’ worth it?
The purpose of advertising is to be placed where it can best reach its intended audience, but mediums are so saturated that it resulted in a competitive need to stand out. Introducing a crazy tactic is also attaining first privileges to it, because whether it takes off or not, your name will always be known as the pioneer. So armpits are but the Darwinian child of a marketing/advertising evolution. It’s exciting to see what other ventures will be tapped into, yet it’s scary what people are willing to give up for the cash or attention.
It’s advertising you can’t ignore.
Not referring to extreme cases like Billy Gibby, or legally Hostgator Mel Dotcom in 2011, who auctioned areas of his skin to be permanently tattooed with advertisements. Having just the car slapped with unflattering banners only seem to advertise your financial status or questionable values above all else. More importantly, if people are voluntarily becoming ads, there is no way to swipe away, or close the ad. If anything, armpit ads show that consumers have no issue embodying invasive ads even if they can’t stand receiving them.