Web host HostPapa has joined the world of human billboard marketing with its latest ad campaign using BuyMyFace

HostPapa Puts a Strange Face on Hosting with Human Billboard Ad Campaign

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Web hosting provider HostPapa announced on Thursday that it has launched a rather kooky ad campaign where it will sponsor two men who will wear the HostPapa logo painted on their faces all day on Friday, April 13.

Ross Harper and Ed Moyse are the founders of  BuyMyFace, a marketing initiative where the two former students are selling advertising space on their faces for 366 days to pay off student debt. As of October 11, 2011, Harper and Moyse paint logos on their faces every day, and then spend the day out in the UK, riding buses, going to music festivals, parks, and other events.

HostPapa says customers and potential customers will be able to follow Harper and Moyse’s activities on its Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages.

The marketing strategy is certainly interesting, and is a playful and engaging way for HostPapa to potentially attract new customers in the UK . This kind of guerrila marketing is not necessarily a new concept for web hosting providers, and is a less extreme example of the human billboard campaign launched in 2003 by CI Host. CI Host hired 22-year-old Jim Nelson to use the back of his head as advertising space for its web hosting company, paying him $7,000 for a five-year contract. In a press release issued by CI Host, the company claimed the tattoo drew 500 new customers in six months. CI Host signed a second human billboard in 2005. Filmmaker Travis Hayes tattooed the CI Host logo on his forehead.

In 2009, HostGator joined the tattoo advertising world with Billy Gibby, or Billy the Billboard. HostGator paid the boxer $3,000 to brand the back of his neck with the HostGator domain and logo. In August 2010, Gibby went so far as to legally change his name to Hostgator Dotcom.

HostPapa says its new ad campaign also reflects its earth-friendly values since it requires no flyers, posters, or high-production advertising – “just a some ingenuity, a little grease paint, and good fun.”

“We love to see innovative thinking and we’re pleased to help these two young men reach their goal,” Sylvain Patry, senior vice president of business development for HostPapa said in a statement. “Not only that, but it’s clever, creative advertising – bringing HostPapa face-to-face with potential customers and friends.”

Talk back: What do you think of HostPapa’s latest ad campaign? Do you think these unconventional campaigns result in a lot of new customers? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

About the Author

Nicole Henderson is the Editor in Chief of the WHIR, where she covers daily news and features online. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You can find her on Twitter @NicoleHenderson.

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