Fake Facebook Tattoo Backfires
What is more annoying, a viral video of someone tattooing all of their Facebook friends on their body, or someone faking such action as a publicity stunt?
The initial report of a woman having 152 friend profile pictures tattooed onto her arm seemed legitimate, given the accompanying pictures and video. I'm sure most people saw the story and did not give it too much thought. People do silly things all the time (especially when it comes to tattoos) and some people are way too attached to Facebook.
A day later the tattoo artist admitted that the tattoo is fake. The photos and video were a publicity stunt to draw attention to a "try out" tattoo that washes off in a couple of days.
What is interesting here is how the actions are being perceived by the public. As reported by TechCrunch in their update to the initial article:
"Alas this looks like a stunt by a social media agency (who we’re not going to link to). Oh well, you win some you lose some…"
Why is it that these actions are being branded as a "stunt" and not a creative viral marketing campaign aimed to reach the sort of people that like tattoo and like viral videos?
While the idea was a good one, it comes down to the execution. Doctoring a video to make it look like a 30 hour process took it a step too far. The product that was to be the focus of the attention drawn by the viral campaign is a temporary transfer tattoo, so putting the effort into making the tattoo process seem legitimate actually takes the focus off of the product and puts it onto the campaign itself. Since the simplistic campaign was designed to fool people (whether intentionally or not), the only real payoff possible is "ha ha, made you look", which takes it from a creative way to drawn attention and turns it into a prank.
Sure, it got a lot of attention, but so did Jonny Fairplay.
That is not what is considered to be "good attention".
The campaign would have been better to initially focus on the crazy person that would put such a tattoo on their arm and initially ignore the actually tattooing process. Then the reveal is "cool, look at how they did it" and not something that makes people feel dumb for buying into it.