Sunday, February 06, 2005

Flesh Trade

Getting a Head Start in Advertising
Amber Rainey of Myrtle Beach sold her pregnant belly on eBay for $4,050. The buyer, internet casino, is using their newly leased real estate to promote online gambling. Last Thursday, Amber fielded questions about treating her body as a billboard while a skin artist temporarily tattooed the ad onto her expanding belly. also provided Amber with tickets to tonight's Super Bowl. Their marching orders: get that belly on TV. If Amber succeeds, the $4,050 fee would be money well spent by the casino; more traditional TV advertisers are shelling out $2.4 million a go for a 30-second spot during tonight's spectacle.

Amber is not alone. According to Sean Salai, a growing number of people are going online this month to auction advertising space on their bodies. Houston bikini model Shaune Bagwell has offered to sell her cleavage on eBay. As of Sunday morning, bidding stood at $10,900. According to the Houston Chronicle, the bikini model has “room for a lot of logo.”

I wonder whether Jarvis would file this under his "exploding" advertising theory, whereby citizens take control of their commercial surroundings by becoming the ad. See also: This Space to Let and Annals of Advertising: I.


Saint Nate said...

When you think about it,'s strategy of buying strange casino items like pregnant bellies, haunted canes and grilled cheese sandwiches gets a lot of expose for relatively cheap. The news stores get noticed more than most advertisements, and their name gets repeated when people discuss it later.

It's a brilliant strategy. It's also completely tasteless and crass, which makes it perfect for such a questionable operation as Thankfully, I don't see many legimitate companies going for this kind of controversy because it degrades the brand image.

I hope this ends soon. The more this Antigua-based casino does this, the less attention they get. And it doesn't matter how many times I see their logo in how many places, I will never gamble at their site.

Aside from them, consider trying to make permanent tattoo advertising into a commercial venture. They're thriving on this publicity, although I still doubt the hype translates into moved products.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know who's behind We follow the money everywhere else - it would be interesting to follow it in this case.