Americans get hit with thousands of advertising messages a day -- on the subway, in airports, while shopping in the supermarket. Now, one of those ad platforms will be the hard glossy surface of a famous tourist landmark: the bare chest of The Naked Cowboy in New York's Times Square.
The Cowboy -- whose real name is Robert John Burck -- is part of what feels like a comeback in branded body tattoos, which became popular during boxing matches but were eventually banned. Now, the Cowboy has inked an agreement with Wow Body Ads to become its first human billboard. He's wearing the Wow Body Ads logo on his chest and on his back for a period of one month, to promote the company's service, which is tattooing temporary logos on high-profile people like the Naked Cowboy (who built an empire out of selling $499 marriage ceremonies and taking pictures with tourists).
The tattoo ads are made of a dye, ink or paint that can be removed after the match, but which is resistant to smudging from physical contact or perspiration.
In a statement about the partnership, the company said "history was made" in the worlds of sports, business and advertising. You could say it's historical what lengths a person is willing to go to, and what sorts of outlandish experiments some are willing to try in the hopes of getting noticed. There was a category-shattering moment this fall when that guy who tattooed Mitt Romney on his face for $15,000 realized that it wasn't such a great idea after his candidate lost. Now, he's decided to laser it off, according to numerous reports.
Body-ad enthusiasts, beware. Don't try to do this yourself. The company has "an issued patent in place barring any other entity from body advertising," so "this last frontier of commerce belongs only to Wow Body Ads."