Air New Zealand has roped in some volunteers who will shave their heads, so that a temporary tattoo can be displayed over there. The airline calls it ‘cranial billboards’ and for displaying the ads, the volunteers got either a round-trip ticket to New Zealand (worth about $1,200) or $777 in cash (an allusion to the Boeing 777, a model in the airline’s fleet). When co-workers or strangers behind them in the grocery store line asked about New Zealand, they could speak enthusiastically right off the top of their heads — so to speak’, says this NYT article.
Many may balk at such advertising stunts and may wonder whether there is sanctity in anything. A similar marketing campaign was done for FeelUnique.com, an online beauty products store. people were paid to apply temporary tattoos with the company’s Web address on their eyelids and then wink at strangers!
As PR stunts go, such gimmicks depend on the outrageousness of the idea – getting media & people to talk about it. There is a thin line though – if it’s repulsive or stretched too far to evoke a reaction like, ‘what s&^%$ is this!’. The Air New Zealand would have been pretty effective as a show stopper, I would imagine.