Scott Townsend of Waikato, New Zealand, has taken the opposite route to most people who want to get publicity for their businesses. Most entrepreneurs would have chosen to publicise their business on a T-shirt – using a slogan or logo that might attract public excitement, fury or laughter. Remember the furore over FCUK when they first launched their dubious acronym in the UK? Well, that’s exactly what most businesspeople would be hoping for. And there’s a long history of it working perfectly: the Playboy Bunny made the transition from logo to clothing emblem to bedding and stationery and even, rather oddly, children’s clothing.
But Townsend is taking things to the other extreme. To promote his T-shirt business, he’s going to allow visitors to his website the chance to choose a word, any word, that will then be tattooed onto his back. When the website has a million votes, the top ranking word will be tattooed shoulder to shoulder across the insane entrepreneur – at the moment, the voting is being led by ‘mad’ with 303 votes. ‘Nutter,’ ‘crazy,’ and ‘cabbage’ are also in the top 10. The idea is that this stunt will allow the business: Just Tees, to survive the recession.
You might think this is excessive. I think everybody and his dog would agree with you. On the other hand, the principle behind the idea is very sound – something provocative and fun emblazoned on a T-shirt, rather than indelibly inked in flesh, can be a great way to get your business some attention. You can even use a voting system, allowing people to help you choose a new slogan or logo, or even the colour scheme, for your business. And the good news is, you’ll be able to take it off at the end of the business day, unlike Mr Townsend.