Would You Tattoo for Free Pizza?


It really is true that every tattoo you make is a walking advertisement for your business, in a way, but the tradition of advertising your allegiances through tattoos has changed over the years. Some people go under tattoo needles for personal reasons, others use their tattoos to signal to others that they are part of the same community, but a select few use their tattoos as a method for getting free pizza.

Dominoes Free Pizza Exchange

Domino’s promised the people of Russia 100 pizzas a year for 100 years if they accept the price: a permanent logo tattoo that must then be shared on social media under the hashtag #DominosForever. However, so many signed up that Dominoes had to cancel the campaign after two days, during which almost 400 people were tattooed.

According to some of the individuals who were interviewed after their inking, many were selling their skin as a result of poverty – a tattoo was a small price for them to pay compared to the free food they would be able to supply to their families.


Join the Melt Family

An American grilled cheese chain restaurant offers anyone who joins their tattoo family a discount in-store, and they have almost 1000 people on their website gallery who either seriously love the brand or just love getting a good deal.

Perhaps one of the reasons that Melt has succeeded where Dominoes did not, is that Melt recognised that people are actually quite keen to sacrifice a bit of skin for free food. As a result, Melt didn’t offer an outlandish scheme that would quickly lead to bankruptcy, and it also encourages individuals to get creative with the way they incorporate the logo into their tattoo. Melt sells more than just an instore discount; it offers a FB community where exclusive deals and announcements are held, too.


Reebok Forever

Reebok turned their tattoo-based advertising into a competition, challenging competitors at the Tough Viking competition to who would also dare get the biggest ink of the Reebok logo tattooed onto their body. The prize was approximately £3,500 in gear, and the winner tattooed the logo across their thigh.

For the winner of the competition, the tattoo meant more to her than freebies alone – they were prepared to invest in this huge tattoo because they felt that their Reebok gear had been an important factor of their strict weight-loss and exercise regime that led them to a healthier lifestyle.


Game of Thrones

Cultural phenomenon Game of Thrones convinced a small parlour to take their tattoo supplies to a Comic Con in San Diego, 2014 to promote both the show and the tattoo studio. A total of 111 fans received free Game of Thrones tattoos, some of these being individuals who had never before received a tattoo. The fans didn’t receive any freebies for their tattoos, but the parlour got some media coverage for their publicity stunt.


Forehead Tattoo for $10K USD

A woman auctioned her forehead space on eBay to the highest bidder, promising to get a tattoo of the buyer’s choosing. The auction never reached peak fervour, however, as the online casino, Golden Palace immediately cashed out a full $10K to claim the woman’s forehead for their logo.

The promise went ahead and the woman received her $10K, followed by getting the tattoo a week later. Apparently, the studio she requested the tattoo from tried to talk her out of it for 7 hours before getting out the tattoo guns and finishing the deal.



Melt, Dominoes and Reebok aren’t the only companies who have offered freebies to willing participants, however, there are many more. Some employers offer a 15% pay rise if you tattoo the company logo onto yourself (Rapid Realty NYC). Ecko also offer 20% off in-store items for life, Casa Sanchez brought back a devastating free burrito for a branded tattoo deal that lost them over $5m USD in 1988, and Hot Doug’s in Chicago continues to offer free hot dogs for life in return for a logo tattoo.

There are many reasons why an individual might want to get a branded tattoo, and they’re not always for money or freebies. Sometimes people experience a keen affinity with a particular brand’s ethos or morals, leading them to associate a piece of their own identity with the brand. Either way, it’s always important to encourage your customers to carefully consider their tattoo choices but is especially good practice when brands are involved.