News – “Domino’s Overwhelmed by Huge Number of Russians Willing to Get Pizza Tattoos” – And now the company is on the hook for a whole lot of dough.

I am hesitant to cover a brand’s attempt at viral marketing via a tattoo promotion—think: lifetime (or limited) supply in exchange for inking a logo onto your living self—with any sort of breathless wonder because as it turns out lots of places do this all the time and people always take them up on it. (Some thousands of peopleeven get brand tattoos without the promise of free food just because the restaurant foots the bill for the ink and those people help me understand how cults happen.)

This is just like, A Thing now—part of the peculiar fabric of how personal dignity and modern capitalism play off each other in increasingly dystopian ways. In fact, if you’re willing to turn your body into a billboard, I bet you could get almost any brand to provide comestible compensation. (And if you are willing to do that, please pitch me the corresponding personal essay cause that’s the sort of stunt journalism I want to see on this site.) But sometimes there’s a glitch in the cost-benefit analysis and the allure of free food proves to be overpowering. Sometimes, the Brand gets a whole lot more participation than they bargained for.

On August 31, less than a week ago, Domino’s posted on VKontakte (basically Russian Facebook) about a promotion offering “100 years” (effectively: a lifetime) of up to 100 free Domino’s pizzas to anyone who tattooed the company’s logo on their body and posted about it on social media. In the initial announcement, the period to post about your new brand-loyalty tat ran through the end of October. Yesterday, the company posted an urgent update closing the submission window because too many people took them up on the offer.

I mean free pizza for 100 years seems like a fair enough trade…it’s also Russia so I’m not entirely surprised by any of this. 2018 folks!

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