Forehead Advertising

Everly Bustos by Hyoung Chang

Forehead Advertising is a type of nontraditional advertising that involves using a person’s forehead as advertising space. John Carver and his London Creative Agency, CUNNING, is credited with inventing the concept in 2003 with ForeheADS. In a 2004 CUNNING campaign, forty young adults were paid $11 per hour to wear temporary tattoos on their foreheads for a 2004 campaign promoting the launch of the Scion tC for Toyota. A short lived startup in Rhode Island, Headvertise, offered up to $150 per week for wearing a temporary logo tattoo on one’s forehead. It was last reported that 64 students had featured ads on their foreheads for companies such as Roommates.com.

Forehead advertising made headlines in early 2005 when a 20-year-old man, Andrew Fischer, auctioned his forehead for advertising space on eBay. The winning company, SnoreStop, bid $37,375 to display their logo via temporary tattoo on his forehead for 30 days. Later that year forehead advertising moved beyond temporary tattoos. Kari Smith auctioned her forehead for advertising space on eBay for an asking price of $10,000. GoldenPalace.com, a Canadian Internet gambling company, paid $10,000 for Smith to permanently tattoo ‘GoldenPalace.com’ on her forehead. GoldenPalace.com has also advertised its logo via temporary and permanent tattoos on the backs of boxers, bellies of pregnant women, women’s legs, and the chest of a swimsuit model.

Andrew Fischer became known internationally as the ‘Forehead Guy,’ and runs a website called HumanAdSpace.com. In 2005, he launched a Miami-based company, Lease Your Body, to connect advertisers to people willing to rent out space on their bodies, including necks, upper arms, forearms, hands, stomachs, lower backs, and foreheads, for temporary tattoo placement. Rates for these body parts cost anywhere from $100 to $5,000.

Most recently, forehead advertising has moved beyond the forehead and onto the entire skull. In 2009, Terry Gardner of California shaved her head to display a temporary tattoo for Air New Zealand on the back of her head. The company called these ads ‘cranial billboards.’ Approximately 30 people participated in this advertising campaign. Each participant received a round-trip ticket to New Zealand or $777 in cash. Another advertising campaign during this year featured temporary tattoos on the eyelids of participants. Ten men and women were paid to wink at strangers in order to display the FeelUnique.com Web address. Each participant was paid $149.

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