Photo: M.J. Moneymaker via Flickr
The Naked Cowboy — the famous Times Square performer who plays guitar in his underwear and marries off couples for $499 a pop — has a new money-making tactic: He’s going to become Wow Body Ads’ first human billboard by tattooing the company’s logo onto his chest and back.But don’t worry, unlike the tragic skinvertising craze in the early 2000s in which people sold space on their bodies to get permanent tattoos of now-defunct website URLS, the Cowboy’s tattoos only last for about a month.
Wow Body Ads marketer Darren Prince told ESPN that he’s looking to bring back the celebrity human billboard trend.
It was huge a decade ago, particularly in boxing rings. Bernard Hopkins made $100,000 for wearing a temporary tattoo for casino Golden Palace in a big fight. (The Nevada State Athletic Commission put a stop to the trend since it didn’t make a profit off of the ad placement, and it might conflict with pre-existing sponsorships.) NBA player Rasheed Wallace also considered wearing ad tattoos, but his agent passed.
Prince thought that the Naked Cowboy was a good vehicle to launch the skinvertising comeback.
“He is a beloved figure seen by millions of tourists each year,” Prince said. “Who wouldn’t want their brand in front of that many people and at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising?”
Of course, some people never stopped transforming into human billboards.
Billy Gibby, also known as “Billy the Human Billboard,” has 39 brand-related tattoos and counting. According to his website, he’s still selling ad space. A 6″ by 1″ tattoo ad on his forehead goes for $20,000.
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