Apple introduces most outrageous “rewards” program in history

By Paul Michael on 31 March 2008 (Updated 18 August 2011) 26 comments

I love Apple as a brand. It makes great products, it has tremendous loyalty, but could I go as far as to tattoo the famous Apple logo on my body to get a lifetime discount? Well, that’s the latest, greatest scheme from Steve Jobs and Co. And people are lining up in droves to do it. (This was an April Fool's gag readers. Now that the day has passed, it's only fair to warn you. Enjoy)

Always a leader, Apple has redefined “branding” and introduced a scheme based on raging successes in student test markets. The brave students were given a minimum of $500 to sit in the tattooists chair for 1 hour while the artist inked the permanent Apple into their skin. More money was given for a more prominent tattoo (the complete list is printed later in the article).

tattline

After the tattoo healed, students could use this tattoo at any time to receive a 25% discount in any Apple store, which was obviously a much bigger draw than the initial cash payment. Denver University student Sheila Blige has been delighted with the savings, the tattoo and the attention: “People tell me all the time, that’s a cool tattoo!” Sheila was paid $5000, the top amount, for having the infamous Apple logo branded on her forehead.

tatt

“It really hurt, but I’m saving 25% every time I shop at Apple and I don’t exactly have to struggle to find my rewards card!” she joked. A company called leaseyourbody.com had already experimented with 30-day tattoos, but Apple knew that their brand loyalty was unbeatable. Tim Burr, press secretary for Apple, had this to say: “Who wouldn’t want the coolest logo in the world on their body? We’re paying for it, you look cool and you get a discount! We’re just waiting for Microsoft to follow suit, although to be honest I can see people ‘crashing’ in the tattooists chair when they get that one,” joked Burr. “We foresee a day when thousands of people are walking around proudly displaying the Apple logo.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

Another condition of this program tests loyalty to the limit. Once you have an Apple tattoo, you can have no other brands stamped on your body. A small price to pay for the discount being given. The rising scale for an Apple tattoo is as follows:

$500 – Arm, leg, feet, torso (below t-shirt/short line)

$1000 – Arm, leg – always visible

$1500 – Hands

$2000 – Neck

$2500 – Head, unshaved

$3000 – Head, shaved

$5000 – Forehead or face

The 25% discount applies to all tattoos. If you’re interested in getting your very own Apple loyalty tattoo, your local store will soon be setting up a tattoo chair in the window. Not only is it a great branding exercise, Apple is also using the idea to bring more people into their retail stores. It’s expected that other notable brands like Nike, Target, Coke and others wll soon follow suit.

As for online purchases, the Apple tattoo cannot be used yet. However, a scanning pad is being developed by Apple that will attach to any computer and will cost just $99. Using the same technology as a fingerprint lock, it will recognize the tattoo and apply the discount. For more information on the Apple Tattoo Program, click here .

Microsoft has been unavailable for comment.  

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Guest's picture
Aaron S.

*grumbles* I'm so gullible. Well done.

Guest's picture
Guest

This "April Fools" gag is unfunny, blindingly obvious, and a total waste of web space

Guest's picture

Happy April Fools Day!!! Excellent post in the spirit of the holiday -- for a second I believed it :)

Guest's picture
vince

I thought it was funny and a part of me think it wouldn't be that far from the truth.

Guest's picture
Guest

I was really looking foreword to this. bummer.

Guest's picture
Guest

Can it really be considered an April Fool's Day joke if you posted it at 21:52 on March 31st? Seems like that's cheating to me!

(I did fall for it, though. :-)

Where'd you get the pictures?

Guest's picture
Guest

I can't believe I fell for it. To be fair people get stupid tattoos all the time, the story was really believable.

I would bet that the pictures you used are from someone who actually got the tattoo.

Guest's picture
Sean

I read this article and I got madder and madder. I thought this was the most outrageous thing I had ever heard. But I could see some people doing it (come on Apple fanboys, you know some of you were considering it).

Then I remembered what day it was. Good job

Guest's picture
Guest

Got me! I was actually considering one before the truth dawned on me. I have a big, ugly mole on my face; how much worse could an Apple tattoo be?

Guest's picture
Guest

Is every single LifeRemix blog going to be joketown today? Gah, how useless.

At least yours was clever.

Guest's picture
Guest

There was this DJ at the college radio station KALX named Tim Burr. It made this story more convincing. College radio DJs taking corporate jobs and stealing punk culture on behalf of their new masters... is nothing new. :-)

Guest's picture
Guest

that was a good one!!

Guest's picture
Guest

might have fell for it, but i've already read other ridiculous postings this morning to remind me it's april 1. nice try though.

Guest's picture
Guest

OOH! You got me for about five minutes!!

Happy April Fool's.

Paul Michael's picture

any negative comments about this article are being kept on file and will be reported to National Security. We're watching you...

Guest's picture
Stephanie Chance

See, now, I thought they were ALREADY doing this...

I wonder how many people will read this and not click through the link or read the comments, and go on to tell their friends about it believing it to be true? Or worse, who will actually go out and get a tattoo and try to get a discount.

Guest's picture
Guest

There way a joke story about practically the same thing years ago, though it didn't focus on apple. It was about people getting logo tatoos...coke maybe...For a discount

Guest's picture
Guest

From a Washington Post article about best April Fools pranks:

In 1994 National Public Radio's All Things Considered program reported that companies such as Pepsi were sponsoring teenagers to tattoo their ears with corporate logos. In return for branding themselves with the corporate symbol, the teenagers would receive a lifetime 10% discount on that company's products. Teenagers were said to be responding enthusiastically to this deal.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2007/04/the_best_and_worst_apri...

Paul Michael's picture

They say nothing's original. I saw the Apple tattoo on Flickr and decided to write a story around it. Being in advertising, I already knew about the 30-day tattoos and figured it was almost believable. Well, at least it gave some people a laugh.

Guest's picture
Jasi

Still, an apple tattoo would be cute. = )

Guest's picture
Guest

I fell for it. And considered it. And then my friend told me to read the comments...doh! I've been fooled! Great one!

Guest's picture

Excellent April 1 post - very creative!

Mike

Guest's picture
Barbara

posting a comment that says this is a waste of webspace, etc is like asking what a Murphy's Pizza post is doing on a frugal living website. So what? Have a little humor. I gotta admit, I completely fell for it, then went through a second time once i saw the comments! Lol, oh well!

Guest's picture

I just found this, obviously it's old, but I wanted to comment. I've had an apple logo tattoo for quite some time and I thought this was really hilarious. I was getting mad because I was thinking, "Damn! I could have been getting paid for this thing???" haha.
bravo.

Guest's picture
Curtis

Just found this too - if it were real it would be marketing genius and an untapped market. There would be a lot of possibility

Guest's picture
Mkke

I'd get the Apple symbol on my hand if there gonna pay me