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Branding… in more ways than one

May 10th, 2013

Why does Rapid Realty reward employees for getting the company’s logo tattooed anywhere on their body?

Image source: mix967.ca

The concept of the “human billboard” is not exactly novel. We have all seen people sandwiched between a couple of boards, or racers proudly wearing dozens of logos all over their clothes. It is only logical the next step would be logos tattooed directly on someone’s body.

In 2003, one Jim Nelson tattooed the logo of hosting company CI Host on the back of his head for $7,000, and since then the concept has regularly been used by multiple companies.

However, the campaign real estate company Rapid Realty decided to pull is completely different, though superficially similar on the surface. Employees of the company have the option to have the company’s logo tattooed on their body to receive a 15% pay raise. There are, however, two substantial differences between this new campaign and everything that has been done before: first, only employees of the company are eligible, and second, there are no restrictions regarding where the logo should be situated on the body or how big it should be – and let’s admit it, a small tattoo behind the ear is not going to do much advertising at all. So, what’s the deal here?

The answer may lie in the properties of a tattoo. Permanent tattoos are notoriously difficult to remove, which means that getting tattooed is a fairly big commitment: if you don’t want it anymore, too bad. This is probably just what Rapid Realty seeks to exploit. A picture of two fused Rs is not exactly as awesome as your average scorpion or dragon, in other words, it’s probably not something you would wear on your body for the kicks of it. It’s all about the pay raise. Were you to leave the company, you’re stuck with it, and it’s no longer making you any money at all. For this reason, the tattoo is a token of loyalty of sorts, making you less willing to leave the company. In a nutshell, Rapid Realty “brands” their employees with a mark that shall forever indicate their belonging to the firm in an attempt to ensure they don’t leave. Now think of the way livestock owners brand their cows and sheep with a hot iron to indicate that these animals are their property to avoid losing them, and suddenly this campaign may start sounding just a little creepy.

Now let’s make it perfectly clear, far be it from me to imply Rapid Realty thinks of their employees as mere cattle, but assuming you have watched almost any science-fiction movie ever, you can’t honestly tell me this procedure doesn’t bring to mind any images of a dystopian future where slavery is reinstated.


About the Author:

Daniil Stoenko is a professional writer and translator who produced a variety of articles for LogoBee’s Logo Design Blog over the years.

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We are a society of brands. Apple , Gucci, Marlboro... All of these were injected in to our mind by media.

by PavelSeptember 04, 2013