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Marketing

Arby’s latest giveaway: A real fast-food tattoo

The one-day offer is limited in scope, but maybe that’s beside the point.
Photograph courtesy of Arby's

Arby’s is going beyond the usual sort of restaurant giveaway with the offer of a free fast-food-themed tattoo—an honest-to-goodness piece of permanent skin art—to fans who can get to Long Beach, Calif., on Sept. 22.

Other Arby’s aficionados will have to be content with downloading one of the limited-edition designs and bringing it to their nearest tat parlor, without any reimbursement or even a free Curly Fries from the chain.

The free versions will be offered only at Port City Tattoo, the Long Beach establishment of noted skin artist Miguel “Uzi” Montgomery, who developed the fast-food designs for Arby’s. The images include depictions of the quick-service chain’s signature Beef & Cheddar sandwich and the hat that forms the brand’s logo—in this instance, worn by a skeleton.

A number similarly incorporate common tattoo iconography, including a wolf (eating an Arby’s sandwich), dice (pictured above a sandwich), a little devil (standing atop a sandwich) and a poker hand (splayed above another sandwich).

Arby’s said the promotion will give hardcore fans a chance to demonstrate their passion for the brand by opting for a permanent statement of their devotion.

“Can't make it to Port City that day? The bad news is, we now question the sincerity of your sandwich commitment,” reads the announcement of the offer, which Arby’s is calling its Sandwiches for Life deal.

It claims to be the first quick-service chain to offer free tattoos to diehard fans. But the fast-casual chain &pizza has had a long-standing policy of reimbursing both staff and customers who pop for an “&” tattoo.

The Arby’s deal is the latest in a recent string of marketing gimmicks from restaurant chains. Earlier this year, the sandwich chain revealed what it claims was the world’s smallest ad, a microscopic come-on etched onto a sesame seed.  Over the summer, IHOP threw the social media world into a tizzy by announcing that its name would change to IHOb with the rollout of a new burger line.

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