Yesterday, the Internet was all a-twitter about some wacky woman who claimed to show her love for Facebook by tattooing no less than 152 so-called “friends” on her arm.
The story and accompanying YouTube video swirled through the foggy ether of cyberspace, leapfrogging from site to site, until it ended up on, yes, you guessed it – CNN.
Although many, including yours truly, suspected the ugly tat was faked, tattoo artist Dex Moelker waited until today to admit the ink was little more than a bad viral marketing hoax.
“It is a try out tattoo, a transfer, that washes off in a couple of days,” Moelker, who has a tattoo shop in Rotterdam, told the Dutch Telegraaf.
Apparently, it only took Moelker some two hours to apply the temporary body art, rather than the 30 (undoubtedly painful) hours claimed in the original video to produce the real tattoo.
The badly executed stunt was commissioned on behalf of Pretty Social, a Dutch firm which sells Facebook-themed gifts.
Founder Laurens Eckebus said the hoax was designed to generate publicity for his company and to highlight the “importance of social media” in the real world.
While not exactly honest, Pretty Social’s little scam does highlight the power of social marketing and the reach of annoying viral YouTube videos.
Since it was posted on May 30th, the infamous “tattoo” clip has racked up approximately 1,717,383 views – which really isn’t all that shabby for some seriously lame body art.