Facebook tattoo stunt turns out to be viral marketing

Another day, another video that we all "fell for." Good job, Internet?

Published June 9, 2011 3:10PM (EDT)

These tattoos aren't real.
These tattoos aren't real.

Did you check out that cray-zay video that was making the rounds this week, featuring a young woman from the Netherlands getting a tattoo of all 152 of her Facebook friends? Who does that??

The answer is: nobody. The video was an ad for both the tattoo shop (or maybe tattoos in general?)  and a Dutch company that specializes in making Facebook gift apps. (They are the ones "thanked" in the end.)

Rotterdam tattoo artist Dex Moelker eventually came clean on the Telegraaf website, admitting the tattoo and video is an advertising stunt.

'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 paper. It took a couple of hours to apply the transfer not the 30 hours the video claimed to produce the real tattoo.

Oh. I guess once again the Internet viral video people have "won," seeing as how this clip made it onto CNN's website and beyond. Or, looking at it another way: How can this video be fake but that fancy rat convention video be real? The Internet, for today, remains a strange, cruel place.

By Drew Grant

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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