- Arby’s is teaming up with tattoo artist Miguel “Uzi” Montgomery to offer free permanent sandwich-themed tattoos to fans at Port City Tattoo in Long Beach, California on Sept. 20, Fortune reported.
- For those who can’t make the event, Montgomery’s custom tattoo designs are available to download for free on Arby’s website. Some of the tattoo designs feature the Arby’s name, while others simply are images of roast beef sandwiches, curly fries and other menu items.
- The campaign does not include free sandwiches or other menu items. Instead, it offers a "higher level of sandwich commitment" to those willing to get a permanent tattoo. Fans can share their tattoos and follow the conversation #SandwichesPorVida, according to a company blog post.
Tattoos are suddenly a trend as brands up the ante on marketing stunts intended to grab the attention of ad-weary consumers and drive earned media by engaging their most passionate customers. However, the potential for a backfire is there as brands take bigger risks. Domino’s recently pulled a promotion in Russia offering free pizzas for life to fans who got tattoos of the brand's logo and shared them on social media, after an unexpectedly large turnout, with about 350 people getting the tattoos and qualifying for free pizzas.
By billing its new campaign as giving consumers “sandwiches for life,” but in the form of branded tattoos rather than a lifetime supply of sandwiches, Arby's is attempting to drum up social media traffic and media attention around the quirky event. Arby’s is also hoping to build brand awareness with younger consumers, who appreciate authentic, interactive brand experiences and also tend to be fans of tattoos and piercings.
Arby’s recently revamped its marketing strategy, and was recently listed as one of the most “talkworthy” brands online in Engagement Labs’ Total Brand Awards for Brand Sharing for its ability to target niche audiences with its gaming-focused social media posts. The chain merged with Buffalo Wild Wings earlier this year to form Inspired Brands.
The tattoo-centric event follows another recent marketing stunt by Arby’s to set Guinness World Records for the largest and smallest ads. The fast food chain launched the campaign in June to promote its switch to serving Coke products at its restaurants.